Discus thrower Leesa Lealaisalanoa from the Titahi Bay Amateur Athletic Club says that she looking forward to an awesome experience when she competes in the World Junior Championships next month. In the following interview the student at St Mary’s College in Wellington talks about her goals and her best performances over the recent season.
Discus thrower Leesa Lealaisalanoa competing at this years Athletics New Zealand Track and Field Championships. Photo: www.nesport.co.nz
Are you looking forward to the World Junior Championships in Moncton, Canada and what are you looking forward to the most about the world junior champs?
Yes, I am looking forward to the World Juniors. I think that it would be an awesome experience for me. What I'm looking forward to the most is the competition. Competition against some of the world's elite athletes is definitely going to help me develop into a better athlete.
Have you been to a world junior champs before?
No I haven't, but I have represented NZ at the World Youth Competition 2009 held at Sudtirol, Italy.
Where do you think your competition is likely to come from?
All around the world. There is not one place that hasn't got exceptional throwers, but most are from the Europe area.
Do you hope to improve on your PB at the world junior champs?
I do, getting a personal best is one of my competition goals for these Championships.
Who inspires you to compete?
My family does. I have a big family, and all of them support me unconditionally. They are my motivation and if it wasn't for them and my coaches, I wouldn't be where I am today.
What originally got you into throwing the discus?
My Uncle Lafaele Lupo is the Club president of the Titahi Bay Amateur Athletics Club - it was him who originally got me into athletics. I got into discus when my past coach Phil (aka Taffy) Jones came to one of the club nights and he coached me from then until he suddenly fell ill.
Who is your current coach?
I am being coached and trained by Lafaele Lupo and Shaka Sola.
At the moment, how much time do you spend training each week?
I spend about eight hours a week training.
What do you think has been your best performance over the recent season?
I think my best performance over this season was at the New Zealand Championships this year. I gained three golds in the W16 shot put and discus and W19 discus and I got the NZ W16 discus record (personal best as well!).
What are your long term athletics goals?
To be an Olympian and a World Champion.