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Tongan Olympian Taufatofua sets his sight on Tokyo 2020

Tongan flag bearer Pita Taufatofua made a well-oiled exit from the Olympic Games, jumping on stage for a few moments during the closing ceremony in Rio.

Kaniva news reports instead of the black costume he wore in the opening ceremony, Taukatofua wore an outfit featuring the word ‘Tonga’ in red.

The taekwondo competitor joined Julia Michaels and Kygo’s performance of their hit “Carry Me,” dancing as rain fell on the Maracana stadium.

Taufatofua also joined fellow athletes with Japanese wrestler Kaori Icho, swimmer Yusra Mardini, representing the Refugee Olympic Team and Syria, Brazilian gymnast Arthur Mariano and runner Shaun Miller of the Bahamas.

Taufatofua lost his taekwondo match against Iranian medal favourite Sajjad Mardani on the weekend, but still managed to keep his fans cheering.

After the match he posted: “Felt so privileged to get out on those mats and represent Tonga! There are no excuses, I started slow, got caught and lost to a legend of Taekwondo, a great opponent in Iran. Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn!

“It took me 20 years to get here, if it takes another 20 we will bring that Gold home! Thank you for the love, prayers and support without you all we would not be here! Malo Aupito, ofa atu.”

His coach, Master Paula Sitapa told Radio New Zealand they intended to keep going and push towards the Tokyo Olympics in four years time.

“What happened in this Olympics is just the beginning for us and we’d like to keep on going,” Sitapa said

“There’s a lot of things for us to do – especially raising up the next generation and see what we can do more to help and giving back to the communities and all the people that are supporting us.”

source:  Kaniva News

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