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Rio Olympics, SPORTS

Bolaibau Dares To Take On Any Challenge

Bolaibau Dares To Take On Any Challenge
Fijian Paralympics athlete Epeli Asaisea Bolaibau is ready for Rio 2016. Photo: RONALD KUMAR.
July 28
13:38 2016

Epeli Asaisea Bolaibau believes that positive results could only be attained if you are willing to take on any challenge that comes your way.

Bolaibau is one of the two Fijian paralympians that will be participating in the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. The 43-year-old has been earmarked to take part in the F47 high jump.

The Mali, Macuata, native said preparation was getting tougher by the day as he needs to be in his best form for Rio.

Considering the fact that Fiji’s first paralympian gold medal was from the high jump event that was won by Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports Iliesa Delana, during the 2012 London Paralympic Games, Bolaibau said, he is ready to do his best.

And an added boost to his preparation is the support from his three children Mereseini, Emori and Asenaca.

“My preparation is going on well with my coaches and we know the challenges out there for me. So every day when I go home after training, my children always ask me, how did my day go, my training and how am I coping with everything,” he said.

Bolaibau joined Fiji Athletics in late 2014 and last year was his international debut at the Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea where he finished fourth in the 100m race.

His manager Fred Fatiaki said Bolaibau had switched his event from track. To field soon after the Pacific Games.

“When we were training for PNG I told him to test out the high jump and he leaped 1.68m so I knew he got a good chance in Rio. So when we returned from PNG he made the switch to high jump and he really enjoyed all the training we had done so far,” Fatiaki said.

Bolaibau participated in the 2016 World Athletics Paralympics Championship in Dubai and qualified on merit for Rio with a jump of 1.74m, the qualifying height was 1.65m.

After losing his arm in 1997 in a sawmill accident at the Fiji Forestry Industries electrical room, Bolaibau says life was hard for him.

“It was even worse when I lost my wife who was a school teacher at Rampur College in 2011. It was very hard because I was not born with this and I was ashamed to put my hand out. But I have good coaches who are always encouraging me and it’s good for me.”

Before the sawmill accident, Bolaibau played in the Macuata Rugby Union competition from 1995 to 1996.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua


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