Human Qualities – Banuve, Pacific Sprint King

Ajay Amrit suva Ratu Banuve Lalabalavu Tabakaucoro was born in the capital of Suva on September 4, 1992. As a young boy he dreamed of playing rugby and maybe one
20 Jul 2014 08:19

Banuve Tabakaucoro

Ajay Amrit

Ratu Banuve Lalabalavu Tabakaucoro was born in the capital of Suva on September 4, 1992. As a young boy he dreamed of playing rugby and maybe one day even to represent his country in that code. The plan was to change when he was noticed for his tremendous explosive speed when on the rugby field and also in his school athletics events.
Banuve caught the attention of local coaches when he started beating boys much older than him in the Blue Ribbon 100 metres event and 200m race. This was to be the beginning of his rise to fame not in the rugby code, but the athletics field and that being in the most converted of races -the 100m sprint.
At the age of 16 he first represented Fiji in the 100m and long jump events at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune, India. In 2009 at 17 he participated in the Pacific Mini Games in the Cook Islands getting a silver medal for the 100 and 200m sprint.
2010 was his break-out year. He won four gold medals in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m and mixed 800m relay. This put him on the path to being the number one sprinter in Fiji.
Banuve is a gifted and very agile athlete, standing at a flat six feet tall and weighing approx 75 kilos.
He is a versatile competitor who is good at long jump and the 200m, but when I asked him his favourite event he told me it’s got to be the 100m sprint. Since 2010, Banuve has not looked back and last September went on to record an amazing time of 10.33 seconds in the 100m sprint, making him the fastest runner in the Pacific region.
Last month he beat his own personal best record in the Cook Islands, clocking a time of 10.28 seconds edging closer and closer to his ambition of recording a time of under 10 seconds in his favourite event.
Off the athletics field Banuve is one of the nicest and refreshing honest people you can meet. While interviewing him I found his down to earth and accommodating nature very uplifting. He has been snapped up by mobile phone company Digicel to be one of their brand ambassadors which is a great move considering his very adept nature, good looks and wonderful public relations skills.
When I asked him about being chosen as a brand ambassador for Digicel, he said it was a great honour and with the other ambassadors enjoyed going out to meet the public and give back to society by doing as much charitable work as possible.
To be the best there has to be some sacrifices made like paying attention to detail as to what you eat and also what you drink.You have to train hard and give 100 per cent commitment. These are some of the sacrifices made by a professional athlete, but the rewards are so much more.
Just like any sport you participate in, it is nice to be known as the best in your country. Banuve has gone one step further and now is known as the best in the entire Pacific region.
I am sure just like me you will wish all the best for our greatest ever sprinter as he goes on to break even more records in the future
Well that is the story so far for the man known as “The Pacific Sprint King”.

Ajay Amrit (left) with Banuve Tabakaucoro

– The writer is a regular contributor to the Fiji Sun’s column every Sunday. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Fiji Sun
Feedback: ajayamrit@hotmail.com

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