Twenty-three-year-old, javelin thrower Donny Tuimaseve is ready to perform for Samoa at his second Commonwealth Games in Birmingham later this month despite never having a coach throughout his sporting career.

Tuimaseve is self-taught in the art of javelin throwing, watching vision and tips on YouTube to refine his javelin craft over the years.

In that time, he has thrown a national record for Samoa twice, with the most recent being a 69.05m throw at last month’s Pacific Mini Games in Northern Mariana Islands.

Born in Samoa, he had never seen javelin on the TV or even heard of the sport until one day at high school he came across the light spear equipment designed to be thrown as far as possible.

He can clearly remember the moment he first tried the sport.

“I first saw a jav[elin] in high school, I had never tried it and I had never watched it in person or on tv before.

“I just threw the jav, it was quite funny at first it didn’t land well as it landed on its tail,” he said.

Those around him at the time quickly identified he had a bit of potential for the track and field sport and encouraged him to pursue it further, which he did.

Since that first throw, Tuimaseve became hooked on the sport and realised it was where his passion lied.

“Ever since I started competing in javelin for Samoa I saw it as a big opportunity for me and it was something I liked to do.

“Getting my first medal for javelin was a good feeling. To come from a country where there is not much equipment, but to still be able to compete well I found it really fuelled my passion,” he said.

To pursue javelin and maximise his potential, Tuimaseve and his family made the difficult decision to move from Samoa to New Zealand in 2016.

Tuimaseve called New Zealand home for almost two years until he left the country for the Philippines as a missionary for the church of Jesus Christ for the next two years.

During that time javelin was put on hold.

“For those two years I just set it aside and gave it to the Lord serving mission. On mission it was all about giving your time to service so I wasn’t able to train or do much for javelin.

“I didn’t do much training for a long time and then with the pandemic, it became three years without any javelin training,” said Tuimaseve.

After completing his missionary service, Tuimaseve again moved countries to help with his sporting dreams and in 2021 arrived in Melbourne, Australia where he currently resides in the northern suburbs.

As he got back to his passion of javelin and with support from Athletics Samoa, he set his sights on Birmingham, looking to improve on his results from the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games where he competed as an eighteen-year-old.

Tuimaseve has had a solid preparation heading into Birmingham including a dedicated training camp in May and a gold medal at July’s Pacific Mini Games where he threw a new personal best and Samoan national record. The goal is simple for Tuimaseve.

“I want to improve and throw over the 70 metres mark and get another national record for Samoa.

“Then one day I want to make it to the Olympics,” he said.

Confidence is high and while he picked up a slight elbow injury last month, he is recovering well and has his sights firmly set on his goal at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

He believes anything can happen and he will be putting his best foot forward for Samoa.

“It means everything to me getting to represent my country Samoa again, it is always a good feeling because not only am I representing myself and my family, but I am representing a whole nation.

“They are supporting me 100%, it feels good hearing the crowd and feeling the support from everybody moves me,” said Tuimaseve.

The 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham will be broadcast on Channel 7 in Australia. Events will also be live-streamed and available for catch-up on 7Plus.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Men’s Javelin Schedule (all times are local):

Men’s Javelin Throw Qualifying Rounds A & B:
Friday 5 August
19:00-23:15 (local time)

Men’s Javelin Throw Final
Sunday 7 August
3:30-6:30 (local time)

Donny Tuimaseve’s Javelin Career Achievements to date:

  • Gold medal at Pacific Mini Games in Saipan, 22 June 2022 – 69.05m (a new national record for Samoa)
  • Tenth place in qualifying round in Men’s Javelin Throw at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast – 67.78m (at the time it was a new national record for Samoa)
  • Gold medal at Pacific Mini Games in Port Vila, 11 December 2017 – 63.73m
  • Fourth place at the Oceania Athletics Championships in Mackay, 7 June 2022 – 61.66m
  • Sixth place at Suva Oceania Ch in Suva, 28 June 2017 – 57.85m
  • Silver medal at the Pre-Oceania Meet in Mackay, 4 June 2022 – 55.63m