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11 November 2022

Beddoes embraces pressure, targets Pacific Games glory

Saturday 18 November 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Athletics, Pacific Games 2023, Sports

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Beddoes embraces pressure,  targets Pacific Games glory
Alex Beddoes (3rd from left) with the Athletics Cook Islands team and management. Photo: LOSIRENE LACANIVALU / 23111902

Cook Islands’ middle-distance champion and country’s top Pacific Games medal prospect Alex Beddoes thrives on pressure.

As he prepares for the 2023 Pacific Games athletics events which starts on November 27, Beddoes reveals that he is feeling the pressure from his people, family, and supporters.

However, he embraces this pressure and looks forward to securing medals with his athletics team. He recognises that pressure is an integral part of the process as he strives to perform his best.

“That’s something I’m really looking forward to. And preparation is going really well,” Beddoes stated.

With the track events being the first part of his events, Beddoes and Rupeni Mataitoga have been diligently sharpening their skills, and their bodies are feeling ready for the tracks in Honiara.

Beddoes, who is also Mataitoga’s coach, emphasised that their preparations have been progressing smoothly.

“We are kind of just looking forward to getting out there and racing. This doesn’t come around too often. Yeah, I’m just pretty keen to compete and get out there and run,” Beddoes remarked.

Acknowledging Australia’s participation in this year’s Pacific Games, Beddoes identified them as their biggest competition alongside Fiji.

“I’m expecting Australia to bring a pretty strong team in the middle-distance events. Probably New Zealand as well. There’s maybe Fiji; they usually have a few good runners. But, I’ll just be concentrating on who’s in front of me.

“I’ve really learned not to watch or worry too much about who’s in the race. It’s more just once you get started, just concentrate on who’s in front of you.”

Beddoes, who is competing in the 1500 and 800-metre events, encouraged teams and athletes participating this year to enjoy the games.

“Just go out there and enjoy, especially if it’s your first time, just make the most of it. Have fun.”

He also urged all Cook Islanders and supporters to get behind the team and support Team Cook Islands.

“It will make a huge difference. And I know it’ll mean a lot to the whole team and support. It’s really important for us.”

Athletics Cook Islands president Simone Feao announced that the athletics team will depart for Auckland on Monday afternoon to meet up with the rest of their team members.

They will all arrive in Honiara on Wednesday, November 22, and have four days to acclimatise, familiarise themselves with the facilities, and conduct their final training sessions. Feao stated that their competition begins on Monday, November 27.

“The team is pumped and excited. We have spent many hours training and also spent some time with Oceania Athletics on mental preparation,” Feao expressed.

“Now it’s up to the athletes to deliver.”

Feao acknowledged that they cannot control many aspects of the environment they will be in but have adopted an attitude of focusing on being well-prepared for different scenarios and achieving their goals regardless of the circumstances.

She further expressed their gratitude for the unwavering support from families and the Cook Islands community, hoping to make them proud.