In the first eight months of her 4-year scholarship at the Regional Development Centre on the Gold Coast of Australia, 20-year old Taeawho is also the 2012 sportswoman set new national 60 metre, 100m and 200m sprint records at the Queensland winter athletics meet just two months ago.
The most notable of the three new records is the new 200m time set by Taea and smashing the long-standing record of 25.90 set by local Olympian Erin Tierney.
The new 200m record set by Taea is a blistering 25.36.
Taea still holds the 100m national sprint record smashing her old record of 12.44 seconds by .08 seconds for a new national 100m record of 12.36 seconds.
The talented athlete, who is also a prolific try scorer on the rugby sevens field, is also the national 60m record holder with a time of 7.90 seconds.
When she heard the news that she was picked as flag bearer, Taea says she was shocked and honoured all at once.
“I didn’t expect to be picked but I was really proud,” says Taea.
With a face beaming with national pride – Taea led Team Cook Islands in front of a moderate crowd at the opening of the mini games in Wallis and Futuna.
Taea says she is grateful for the opportunity and looked forward to her upcoming sprint competitions which begin with the women’s 100m race today.
Taea says she is going to go all out to win a medal.
“A medal of any colour will do,” grins the talented young woman.
Taea’s place and scholarship at the Regional Development Centre depends entirely on her performances on the track.
The former Titikaveka College Dux and Tereora College sportswoman of the year says she is keen to return home at the end of the year and knows that the time away from home will pay off in the end as she eyes up bigger goals of qualifying for both the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Taea confesses that she misses her family and friends at home as well as the island food and music.
She would like to thank everyone that has ever helped her especially her family and friends, the Athletics Cook Islands family and the people of the Cook Islands.
Taea will also compete in the women’s 200m race on Thursday (CI time).