Shaka Sola

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Shaka Sola (born 14 March 1977) is a Samoan shot putter and discus thrower who became a popular if surprising star at the 2005 World Championships in Athletics.

Sola arrived at the championships late, having missed his flight from Samoa, and did not reach the games until his specialist event (shot put) had completed. As compensation, he asked to be allowed to compete in the javelin, although he had never previously thrown a javelin.

Sola finished last in the event by a considerable distance, throwing the javelin 41.18 metres, over 17 metres less than the next worst competitor. He was roundly applauded and supported by the other javelin throwers, however, all of whom were aware of the reasons for his participation in that event.

Sola, though not a spectacular javelin thrower, is more than capable in his own sports. He won gold at the 2004 Oceania Athletics Championships in both discus (with a games record of 53.79m) and shot put (17.86m), and represented Samoa in the discus at the 2004 Olympic Games.

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