Samoa settles for 5 medals in IVF World Distance Championship

Photo: Samoa IVF Va’a World Distance Championships 2023/Facebook

Team Samoa claimed 5 medals – 1 Gold, 1 Silver and 3 bronze to be placed 8th overall at the close of the 3rd International Va’a Federation (IVF) World Distance Championships in Apia last Friday evening.

New Zealand topped the weeklong competition with 8 Gold, 13 Silver and 3 bronze with Tahiti second with 7 Gold medals and Hawaii, Canada and Australia tied in third place with 5 Gold medals each.

Brazil to Host 2025 IVF World Distance Championship

The 4th International Va’a Federation (IVF) World Distance Championship will be held in Brazil in 2025.

At the closing of the weeklong 3rd championship hosted in Samoa, the IVF World Distance Championship flag was lowered and officially handed over by the IVF President Lara Collins to the Brazilian representative as the next host country.

The Brazil representatives acknowledged receipt of the flag and are happy to be given the honour to be the next host country.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Tuala Iosefo Ponifasio officially closed the championships and acknowledged everyone that was involved in bringing and co-ordinating the event in Samoa.

“The Government of Samoa is proud to be in the leading role in supporting this auspicious event. I congratulate all athletes and everyone, you are all champions,” said Tuala.

He acknowledged the business community, countries and individual sponsors of the event for stepping in to support.

The Samoa Outrigger Canoe Association (SOCA) President Mathew Wendt and event coordinator Su’a Jay Schuster also acknowledged and thanked all the sponsors who made it possible for them to host the event.

It is an achievement they will cherish after hosting a successful event despite some minor issues.

“Since 1994 when Samoa hosted the World Sprints, we have been campaigning to return the competition to Samoa, so thank you IVH and all the countries that voted and support Samoa’s bid to host this year’s event,” said Su’a.

The event was supposed to take place in 2021 however the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the championship to 2023.

Amazing week of culture & hospitality

Collins noted that it has been an amazing week and thanked the local organizing committee.

She acknowledged how much work goes on to get such an event going and it is not easy, but it all worked out well.

She too acknowledged all the sponsors, the people working behind the scene, the volunteers, the live stream crew and everyone, the Government and people of Samoa for their hospitality, sharing your culture and commitment to the event.

“Thank you to the Samoan people for your hospitality, it was second to none and you have gone out of your way to make us feel welcome and especially in finding solutions to ensure competitors are looked after,” she said.

She reminded everyone that Va’a is our way of life that connects our cultures and should not be taken for granted. “There are other sports but they do not have what we have, so hold on to it as it connects us at all times and the passion we share for Va’a. Congratulations to all paddlers as we turn our minds to 2025 in Brazil,” said Collins.

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