By Te Ahua Maitland
Wintec Journalism student
After finishing second in last year’s NZCT AIMS Games squash competition, number one seed Leo Fatialofa was back this year with a point to prove.
The top-seeded player took out the squash final by defeating second-seed Elijah Thomas in three sets 15-13, 15-8, 15-10.
“After I lost last year, I wanted to come back for the gold medal instead of the silver,” Fatialofa, the nephew of late Manu Samoa rugby great Peter, said. “I really wanted to win the AIMS Games competition.”
The Liston College student said the game was still a hard fought battle.
“The scores were pretty close. We had lots of good rally’s,” Fatialofa said.
“He had some good shot and I had some good shots.”
Both Year 8 boys have been friendly rivals since they were 8-years-old and have shared the wins and losses against each other.
In April, Fatialofa represented New Zealand in the squash series against Australia. He also won the under-13 Oceania Games and the North Island championships.
His goal is to compete in the Commonwealth Games, and knows he can do it especially with the support of his family.
Fatialofa said he began playing thanks to his father, Apa Fatialofa, a keen squash player growing up.
“Leo and the kids would hang out with us at the club so that’s how they started playing. They just jumped on the courts,” Apa said.
Now Apa coaches his son and has become a family affair with his other children playing.
Georgia Fyfe beat Renee Dudson in the girls final.
See all results here