By Caoilte de Barra
After participating on the IMMAF platform for the first time in 2020 at the Oceania Championships, French Polynesia will return with a much larger squad at the 2022 Oceania Championships.
The region comprises 121 geographically dispersed island atolls. Athletes representing French Polynesia are coming from multiple different islands, with only two hailing from the main island of Tahiti. Others are coming from the smaller islands of Moorea and Huahine.
With athletes being dispersed, they often struggle to find sparring partners. However, their determination to compete shines through as they actively look to enter competitions and get on regional shows. The squad head to Brisbane, Australia are:
Keoni Terorotua [Bantamweight]
Taramu Tinirau [Featherweight]
Vahitu Tapare [Lightweight]
Dushan Samuela [Welterweight]
Rayden Moraii [Welterweight]
Michael Lisan [Middleweight]
Tapaquarii Gooding [Middleweight]
Koringo Putu [Heavyweight]
Hiro Lemaire [Super Heavyweight]
Last time around they tasted success through Hiro Lemaire scoring a gold medal for the region in the Super Heavyweight category. The 46-year-old, who is also the federation’s president, returns for a second outing with the hope of making it consecutive gold medals. Only one athlete in Australia’s Samir Ali stands in his way of achieving just that.
Bantamweight hopeful Keoni Terorotua is back on the IMMAF stage for the third time, hoping to better his previous results. The Te Ora MMA head coach settled for bronze In his last Oceania Championships outing. His first-ever World Championships appearance saw him impress with a win over Ganesh Raj Srinivasan before suffering a loss to Fidel Gramiccia.
The federation is proud of the team heading over to represent French Polynesia at the 2022 Oceania Championships. Following their previous success, expectations are higher this time around, and head coach Henri Burns expects the team to come away with at least six medals, three gold and three silver.
You can see if the French Polynesia team meet their expectations live at IMMAF.tv for subscribers only on the platform worldwide, except for in Oceania, for which broadcast details are to be announced shortly.