Ten Minutes with Tereapii Tapoki
Cook Island National Record holder in Discus and Shot Put
Reigning Pacific Discus Champion
Olympian (2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing)
Police Officer (Sergeant)
What is your best athletics quality?
Self-motivation. Knowing how I would feel after a good workout is my motive to get up and train. I am very competitive by nature, I apply that in every aspect of my life.
What do you most enjoy about athletics?
Athletics gives people the opportunity to travel, experience and learn other cultures. It also brings people that train differently together.
What age were you when you started your athletics? How did you start
I was exposed to athletics at the age of 11 during the Manea Games held in Mangaia (an Island south of the mainland) . I saw people throwing implements at the track and immediately thought they looked silly spinning in a small circle with arms open, yelling upon release of the implement. Being a young girl from the village, I did not experience much of the outside world and other sports other than rugby and netball, throwing was a whole new world to me. Although the events looked utterly weird I still wanted to try it. On return from the games I joined the only athletics group on my island to try my chances at throws. Hoping that I would get in and just throw shots, javelins and discus around, my coach had other ideas. He had me do sprints and long-distance running. I was a sprinter/marathon runner before I took up throws all thanks to my first coach. It didn’t bother me at the time because I enjoyed running as well, placing 4th in a marathon and claiming junior titles as a sprinter in school. I couldn’t complain about that. Wind forward 5yrs I decided throws were my thing not sprints. I specified in discus mainly because I was improving a lot quicker in that event than shot and jav. I’ve stayed with discus ever since.
What have been your major highlights/achievements in athletics?
Winning medals at every competition or just breaking my PB is always an achievement to me.
List your current personal best in each event and where
- Shot put: 14.96 m NR– Nikao – 11 October 2006
- Discus throw: 57.61 m NR– Auckland Mt Smart Stadium – 11 November 2006
- Javelin throw: 45.85 m – Apia, Samoa 14 December 2006
What do you like and dislike about training?
Training is a distraction from the outside world. Its like being in your own little bubble blocked from all issues going on at the time. I like being busy and seeing improvements in the gym or on field.
I dislike training with negative people.
Who is your favourite athlete or sportsman/woman of all time and why?
Valerie Adams – She is one of the hardest working athlete I know and is a great example of a strong and clean athlete. I previously trained with her prior to moving back to Rarotonga, just being in the same environment as her really does motivate you to train harder.
What is the best part about competing?
Meeting new people and catching up with old friends. Everyone is so focussed and tense during competition, it shows how much they are hungry to win.
If you could play another sport what would it be?
Rugby league. I know people find me intimidating because of my height and size, I could use that to my advantage in a sport like league.
What is the greatest thing you’ve witnessed in an athletics stadium?
I was amazed at how full the stadium was at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Being in a vibrant and lively atmosphere gave me goose bumps. There wasn’t an empty seat when athletics was on. I loved it.
What are some of your medium/short term goals? (Within the next year or so)
To beat my personal best in all throws preferably discus and compete at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Who do you wish was watching you perform at every game or match?
My parents but most of all my two beautiful girls.
What is the funniest thing you’ve seen on track?
At Oceania Championships I’ve seen throwers fill in relay spots just to get a medal. Anyone can spot a thrower from the grandstand not only because of size but running technique as well. Arms thrown out to the side and legs moving quick but body is not.
What is your favourite song to listen to prior to competing?
Silento – Watch me (Whip/Nae Nae)
Photo ID: _AN_athletics_200917_1418
Created: September 20, 2017
Author: Adam Nurkiewicz
© Adam Nurkiewicz / Laurel Photo Service