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Papua New Guinea

Dodson rates debut race on Samoan soil as best experience ever

The 31 year-old was born and raised in the United States but qualifies for Samoa through his mother, who is from the village of Malie.

Dodson first represented Samoa four years ago but said to compete in Samoa in front of a Samoan crowd was an incredible experience.

"It was amazing. I've been to the Olympics, I've been to world championships, I've raced against Usain Bolt but I told everyone this was probably the most exciting race I've ever been in. Although it didn't have the outcome I wanted the crowd and the atmosphere was the same calibre as probably the Olympics was."

Jeremy Dodson's debut race on Samoan soil was made extra special by the presence of his mother, Peggy Dodson-Mauala, in the Apia Park crowd.

"It's a dream. I'm glad that everything has worked out because I'm a Samoan and I want my son to represent where I came from and where I was born and that's the highlight," she said.

The 2016 Olympian previously represented the USA at world championships and the Pan American Games but said switching his allegiance to Samoa is the best move he ever made.

"When I was with the US it was mainly representing myself with a USA on my chest - now it's representing Samoa with me behind the wheel. It's a completely different sport, it's become a different motivation, it's become a larger project long-term in the future."

"I'm happy that I made that change and I can't wait for the future to happen. Right now it's fun and games and I'm still enjoying an athletic career but after I'm done with this I can't wait to see what I do to help out Athletics Samoa and all the Pacific Islands."

Jeremy Dodson will be back on the track today competing in his favourite event, the men's 200m.

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