Leilua qualifies for the Tokyo Olympics

Eroni Leilua is the first Samoan sailor to be qualified in the Olympic stage.

Leilua will now compete in Tokyo after finishing 32nd in the Bronze fleet (115th overall) at the World Laser Championship over the week-long competition that ended last Sunday at Sandringham Yacht Club in Melbourne.

The 26-year-old shared his excitement on his Instagram account, thanking everyone for the support.

“Laser Standard Worlds done and dusted here in Melbourne and it’s been a humbling experience to say the least. I’ve learnt a lot of and now know what I need to work on ober the next few months.”

“A massive thank you to everyone for the messages of support and encouragement in the lead up to the Worlds and during, I’ve really appreciated it.”

“I wouldn’t have been able to attend this event without the help of Apia Yacht Club, Samoa Sailing Association, the Faatasi Crew and MG Marketing. Thank you all very much for allowing me to chase my dream,” he posted.

Leilua ended up with 301 points from the 12 races, enough to beat Papua New Guinean rival Teariki Numa’s 378 total and claim one of the Oceania qualifying places, with Australia and New Zealand having already qualified their boats for Tokyo at previous World Championship events.