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We Can’t Slip further

We Can’t Slip further
July 21
12:34 2015

We can’t afford to slip further.

All those involved in Team Fiji need to do a post-mortem before they plotplans for future Pacific Games.

Definitely it took so long for things to fall into place since we won the inaugural South Pacific Games in Suva in 1963. Our performance at the 2015 Pacific Games continues to highlight that something is drastically wrong with how we plan things for the four-yearly event.

Our total haul of 114 medals is the lowest of recent games and it will continue to nosedive if no proper plan is put in place.

We set high targets over the years and fall short and it is highly unlikely we will beat frontrunners Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia and French Polynesia in future.

We can’t afford to slip further and we need to direct more emphasis on sports that bring the most medals

Fijian Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee president Joe Rodan (Senior) says apart from more funding, more emphasis should be channelled towards development of specific sports.

“At the end of the day if you want your team to perform then the finances is needed. We came back satisfied with what we achieved winning overall 33 gold medals.”

Rodan said the Shop N Save Athletics Fiji was satisfied with their achievement in the track and field event which Fiji use to dominate in past.

“We won seven gold medals in the track with 17 young school athletes. We are in a development phase and we are positive it will work to our advantage.”

He said more focus was needed in minor sports such as swimming, table tennis, karate, boxing as they have more than 20 medals at stake.

The Fiji Karate Association also bagged 7 gold medals, but it doesn’t always get the recognition it deserved.

Fiji used to be a force in volleyball and Team Fiji should seriously consider the sport being part of the contingent in future.

The rugby league team performance was embarrassing and our golfers should have done better.

But full marks to rugby, (men and women), weightlifting, hockey and lawn bowls who fared well.

PNG should be commended for hosting the Games in top class facilities.

But while we expect more records to fall, the standard in some of the events is hardly impressive.

Decathlon record holder Albert Miller is not impressed with the standard of athletics in the region.

He acknowledged that some have improved, especially a few track events.

“At the 1991 Games in the decathlon, the third place (bronze) was 6600 points. “The gold winner in 2015 scored 6200pts. In our days, 6200 you won’t even be in the top six, so those are the challenges we face currently. We need to look into developing athletes in those specific disciplines.

“We have very good athletes, but I think overall across the board you know I don’t think any significant changes have been made as far as development.

“For High jump the record is 2.21 (metres) nobody’s gone over 2.10 (meters) the best jump in 2015 is 2.06.”

Miller competed in four Pacific Games from 1983 in Samoa to 1995 in Tahiti and his Decathlon record of 7400 plus points set in 1991 still stands today.

“We can see that the standard is not there so something is wrong somewhere and we need to look at it as a sport so that we get quality performance from the athletes.

“We can’t say there’s lack of education. As you know we’ve been conducting IAAF (International Athletics Federation) lectures all over the region. You know we conduct courses. “

The Mini Games is set for Vanuatu in 2017, Pacific Games in Tonga in 2019. We have ample time to plan and prepare. And we need to do it well.

Feedback: oseab@fijisun.com.fj

 

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