We use cookies

By continuing to browse ihf.info, you agree to our terms of use , privacy policy and the use of cookies. For more information, please review our cookie policy.

2019 Men’s World Championship 2019 Men’s World Championship
Join the predictin game


Date: 10/9/2018

When Mauritius and American Samoa lined up against each other in their preliminary group A match this morning, history was going to be made no matter which team won.

It would not only be the first time either country would have won an Olympic Games beach handball match, but the first time that their respective continents - Oceania or Africa - had won.

In the end, Oceania took the honours as American Samoa won 2:0 (13:7, 25:8),with Stephanie Lynn Floor and winger Jasmine Leata Liu top-scoring with eights points each for the Samoans.

IHF.info spoke with Liu about how she started in the game, handball culture in her country and the significance of getting that first win.

IHF.info: You travelled here to Argentina with little international competitive experience as a beach handball nation, and now you won a game. How does it feel?

Jasmine Leata LIU: Yeah, we did win a game - it sounds awesome. We did it as a team, with heart and that’s why we won today – we worked really hard for this. To be able to win a game in the Olympics is so great.

In American Samoa we don’t have a lot of opportunities to play lots of teams because our country is very small. We knew all the teams here have many opportunities to compete against other nations and the players themselves against other clubs, but we were looking forward to being able to play again and we have been doing great so far.

IHF.info: When did you get the feeling you would get your first win?

Jasmine Leata LIU: The whole game really - I knew we had teamwork in there. We all play with our hearts and if we all play together and as a team everything will work out, but if it is just one person, you can never win a game – you need the whole team.

IHF.info: How did you first get involved with beach handball?

Jasmine Leata LIU: About two years ago I started, I didn’t know how to play at all - I didn’t know about 360-degree shots or the ‘alley-oop’ (in-flight). 

Our coach came to different schools, advertising the sport and came to mine. He was teaching the kids and asked everyone if they wanted to try the sport. I thought it looked really cool, so I tried it.

Back then I didn’t know about the Olympic Games, but with this sport there are so many opportunities that come with it.

In Europe it is very big, and we are just gaining more experience, but I find this game very, very fun.

IHF.info: At the end of the game you joined with Mauritius in the centre of the court to chant and sing your thanks for being here and then treated us to a playing of your special Olympic song. Why is it important for you to share your culture with the teams here and everyone else at the Youth Olympic Games?

Jasmine Leata LIU: It’s really important to us to share our culture. Not everybody knows about Samoans and it’s great be able to share our culture with everybody else here.

We need to let everybody know we are Samoans and there is American Samoa too – not everybody knows about us, but we’re here to represent.

IHF.info: Your supporters in American Samoa will be really happy today. What is your message to them?

Jasmine Leata LIU: Our families are really supporting us back home, so on behalf of all of us we give thanks to all of their support and love. We all appreciate everything they’ve done for us and we wish we could pay it all back.

We will try our best to win our games to show how much we appreciate everything they have done for us.