Baby steps they might be but bodybuilding as a sport is back in Samoa in a big way. And with a striking hot new Mr. Samoa in John Lemoa to boot, bodybuilding is here to stay.
On Saturday night at Tanoa Tusitala Hotel, a capacity audience witnessed the Bodybuilding Federation of Samoa’s (B.B.F.S.) first official competition in 2017.
Driven by the hardworking President of the Federation, Benjamin Tamanikaiyaroi, Vice President, Romulus Leung Wai, and their supporters, the evening was a great success.
The proud history of bodybuilding in Samoa during its glory days was not lost on the night. President Tamanikaiyaroi paid tribute to the late Tapasu Leung Wai who started the Federation in the early 1990s through his love for the sport.
His legacy continues through his son and Vice-President Romulus whom with the support of Treasurer Michael Ah Chong, of B.S.P Samoa, are determined to ensure bodybuilding reaches the heights it deserves to.
As for the competition, which also included women, John Lemoa, was a stand out. And the son of Kiona and Manuele Lemoa from the villages of Samusu Aleipata, Vailoa Palauli and Fasito’o-uta was rightfully bestowed the coveted Mr. Samoa title.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Mr. Lemoa was a relieved man, having worked extremely hard for 10 weeks to find the shape he showcased for the judges.
“I honestly never thought I will be competing on the stage,” he said. “The only thing I had been doing was my daily routine after work of going to the gym and that was it.”
He said his friend and Owner of Joe’s Gym at Lotopa, Johan Keil, talked him into the competition.
“Joe’s Gym is where I always trained daily and Johan saw me and talked me into the competition. It all started there.”
Mr. Lemoa also shared some of the challenges.
“When I got approached by Johan Keil to compete for Mr. Samoa, it was really hard at first especially with funding my gym membership and supplements for my diet,” he said.
“I only fully got on board when Johan Keil agreed that he will be sponsoring me throughout my journey and he will be my trainer.”
The rest as they say is history.
Asked what he has learnt since then, he said: ‘The sport is not just a sport itself, it is a lifestyle. I am grateful that I can live with that inspiring the youth of Samoa to join the sport.”
Mr. Lemoa added that his performance on Saturday night was his contribution to the revival of the sport in Samoa and he hopes to continue in the coming years as he develops his body and talent.
The Federation will now prepare for its 2018 Mr. Samoa Championship and then the South Pacific Oceania 2019.
The next event on the calendar for the Mr. Samoa will be representing Samoa at the American Samoa National Bodybuilding Competition in February 2018.
Men’s Junior Bodybuilding
1st Benjamin Matale Fili
2nd Joseph Asiata
3rd Christian Tupuola
1st Siniva Williams
2nd Tunu Nancy Mata’utia
3rd Casidhe Mahuka
Women’s Open Physique
1st Titiula Manuma
Men’s Physique Short
1st Aunese Tauinaola from American Samoa
2nd Penetekoso Tevaga
3rd Joseph Asiata
Men’s Physique Tall
1st Giovanni Mareko
2nd Richard Stowers
3rd Mapesone Tipelio
Men’s Bodybuilding under 80kgs
1st Chris Etuale
2nd Giovanni Mareko
3rd Aunese Tauinalola
Men’s Bodybuilding under 90kgs
1st John Lemoa
2nd Benjamin Matale
3rd Richard Stowers
Men’s Bodybuilding over 90kgs
1st Eddie Gafo
2nd Vernon Westerlund
3rd Raymond Hill
Men’s Bodybuilding over 100kgs
1st Ryan Taifane from American Samoa
Men’s Masters Bodybuilding
1st David Fanene from American Samoa
Overall Women’s Physique
- Siniva Williams
Overall Men’s Physique
- Giovanni Mareko
Overall Men’s Bodybuilding and title of 2017 Mr Samoa
- John Lemoa