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Am Samoa's track & field hopeful

Isaac Silafau - Am Samoa's track & field hopeful. [courtesy photo]

American Samoa's only track & field competitor to the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games is Isaac Silafau.

For the first time ever, the territory is sending seven local athletes to compete in 2 out of 21 sporting events set to take place Sept. 17-27 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

Coverage of the games is sponsored by Carl’s Jr.

Everyone on Team American Samoa is a wrestler, except for Silafau, 26, whose favorite events are the 100m and javelin.

The local delegation departed the territory Monday night.

Silafau isn't just some kid off the street.

He is an athlete. And he's good at what he does. His greatest accomplishment in life, so far, is qualifying for the Olympics in Rio, and winning a pair of Gold Conference Medals in javelin.

The 26-year-old is the son of Fiu and Mercy Silafau who lists his hometown as San Francisco, CA but currently resides in Medford, Oregon.

Standing at 5’9” - 180lbs., Silafau said his track and field career started back in 2005, as a high school student at North Medford HS in Oregon.

By 2009, he was attending the College of the Siskiyous, where he ran the 100m, 200m, 4X100m, and competed in javelin.

In 2013-2015, Silafau transferred to Alderson-Broaddus University where he ran the 60m, 100m, 200m, 4X100, 4X400m, and triple jump.

Last summer, he represented American Samoa in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and earlier this year in July, he participated in the Oceania Championships, competing in the 100m and 200m.

"My goal is to improve each and every day, so that I can improve at every track meet/competition," he said. "That is the ultimate goal."

Silafau's training regime is consistent, and includes block work three times a week, strength training at the gym five days a week, and conditioning tests of sprint ladders  (100m, 200m, 300m, 200m, 100m).

Part of what makes him so agile and fit, is his diet. He said he eats 5-6 meals a day, ensuring that he gets the right amount of carbs, fat and protein.

When he's not at the track, Silafau can be found hanging out with friends and family, reading, working out, at the movies, or traveling.

At the Asian Indoor Games, he will be competing in the 60m and the long jump on Sept. 18 and 20, while local wrestlers, Iafeta Vou, Daniel Misaalefua, Pita Fanolua, Zena Iese, Sealiitu Mauga and Nolan Puletasi will be competing in various weight categories on Sept. 25-26.

The festivities kick off this coming Sunday, with a grand opening ceremony, and will draw participants from some 60 countries – all members of the Asia and Oceania National Olympic committees. The event has been touted as the biggest ever in the history of the Asian Indoor Games. 

The athletes are being accompanied to the Games by ASNOC president Tuiaana Ed Imo, ASNOC general secretary Ethan Lake, Chef de Mission Henrietta Molesi, wrestling coach Irene Kane, and press attache, Theresa Custodio Auva’a. Good luck Team American Samoa!