Tonga at the 2016 Summer Olympics

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Tonga at the
2016 Summer Olympics
Flag of Tonga.svg
IOC code TGA
NOC Tonga Sports Association and National Olympic Committee
in Rio de Janeiro
Competitors 7 in 4 sports
Flag bearer (opening) Pita Taufatofua[1]
Flag bearer (closing) Siueni Filimone
Summer Olympics appearances (overview)

Tonga competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 5 to 21 August 2016. This is the nation's ninth consecutive appearance at the Summer Olympics.

Tonga Sports Association and National Olympic Committee sent the nation's largest delegation to the Games since its official debut at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. A total of seven athletes, four men and three women, were selected to the Tongan team across four different sports; four of them granted universality places to compete in their respective sporting events, with the other three qualifying for the Games on merit through continental tournaments.[1]

Breaststroke swimmer Amini Fonua was the only Tongan athlete to have represented at the previous Games, with the rest of the field making their Olympic debut in Rio de Janeiro. Tonga's first ever taekwondo fighter and oldest competitor (aged 32) at the Olympics, Pita Taufatofua, who led his delegation as the flag bearer in the opening ceremony, instantly became an internet sensation by millions of viewers, when he marched into the Maracana Stadium shirtless, smothered in coconut oil, and dressed in a traditional ta'ovala (a Tongan mat).[2][3]

Tonga, however, failed to win its first Olympic medal since the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, where boxer Paea Wolfgramm bagged the silver in the men's super heavyweight division.


One Tongan archer has qualified each for the men's and women's individual recurve at the Olympics with a top two finish at the Oceania Qualification Tournament in Nuku'alofa.[4] This is Tonga's return to the Olympic competition in the sport after a 12-year hiatus.

Athlete Event Ranking round Round of 64 Round of 32 Round of 16 Quarterfinals Semifinals Final / BM
Score Seed Opposition
Arne Jensen Men's individual 604 61  van den Berg (NED)
L 3–7
Did not advance
Lusitania Tatafu Women's individual 559 63  Chang H-j (KOR)
L 0–6
Did not advance


Tonga received universality slots from IAAF to send two athletes (one male and one female) to the Olympics.[5][6][7]

  • Note–Ranks given for track events are within the athlete's heat only
  • Q = Qualified for the next round
  • q = Qualified for the next round as a fastest loser or, in field events, by position without achieving the qualifying target
  • NR = National record
  • N/A = Round not applicable for the event
  • Bye = Athlete not required to compete in round

Track & road events
Athlete Event Heat Quarterfinal Semifinal Final
Result Rank Result Rank Result Rank Result Rank
Siueni Filimone Men's 100 m 10.76 2 Q DNS Did not advance
Taina Halasima Women's 100 m 12.80 6 Did not advance


Tonga has received a Universality invitation from FINA to send two swimmers (one male and one female) to the Olympics.[7][8][9]

Athlete Event Heat Semifinal Final
Time Rank Time Rank Time Rank
Amini Fonua Men's 100 m breaststroke 1:06.40 45 Did not advance
Irene Prescott Women's 50 m freestyle 28.68 61 Did not advance


Tonga entered one athlete into the taekwondo competition for the first time at the Olympics. Pita Taufatofua secured a spot in the men's heavyweight category (+80 kg) by virtue of his top finish at the 2016 Oceania Olympic Qualification Tournament in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.[10]

Athlete Event Round of 16 Quarterfinals Semifinals Repechage Final / BM
Pita Taufatofua Men's +80 kg  Mardani (IRI)
L 1–16 PTG
Did not advance

See also


  1. ^ a b "Seven Tongan athletes bound for Rio Olympics". Nuku'alofa: Matangi Tonga. 21 July 2016.
  2. ^ Dostis, Melanie (5 August 2016). "Internet in a frenzy over Olympics hot flag-bearer Pita Taufatofua — a Taekwondo athlete from Tonga". New York Daily News. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  3. ^ Ashford, Ben (5 August 2016). "Tongan Olympics 2016 athlete Pita Taufatofua who became internet sensation is SINGLE". Daily Mail. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  4. ^ "Tonga and Fiji archers qualify for Olympics". Nuku'alofa Times. 14 April 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  5. ^ " – Top Lists". IAAF. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  6. ^ "IAAF Games of the XXX Olympiad – Rio 2016 Entry Standards" (PDF). IAAF. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Sport: Tonga still hopeful government will offer funds for Olympic campaign". Radio New Zealand. 19 July 2016. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  8. ^ "Swimming World Rankings". FINA. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  9. ^ "Rio 2016 – FINA Swimming Qualification System" (PDF). Rio 2016. FINA. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  10. ^ "8 Taekwondo Athletes, Including 2 'Family Affairs,' Win Places for Rio Olympics at Oceania Tournament". World Taekwondo Federation. 27 February 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2016.

External links

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