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Rio Olympics, SPORTS

Kunatani Aims High

Kunatani Aims High
Team Fiji men’s rugby sevens forward Semi Kunatani ready to off load against New Zealand in the quarterfinals. Photo: Zimbio.
August 19
11:17 2016


Team Fiji men’s rugby sevens forward Semi Kunatani has set his target to be a successful rugby player in order to help his family.

Being dubbed ‘The Beast’ Kunatani told SUNsports yesterday that winning the country’s first ever Olympic gold medal was a very special moment for him.

“It’s like winning the World Cup,” he said.

“When I knelt down on the sideline I just prayed and thanked God for everything. At that moment I also thought of my family especially my dad and all the players that were part of the extended squad but were not selected. Only we the players and God know the struggles that we went through during our preparation period.”

The 25-year-old Naqalimare native from the Navosa highlands is renowned for his line breaks, tenacious tackles and with ball in hand he always keeps the opposition guessing of his next move.

But it is his calmness when under extreme pressure that  impressed head coach, Ben Ryan and made him one of his trump cards during the Olympic Games.

Kunatani said the gold medal is for his 70-year-old dad, Aminiasi Kunabuli.

“I called my family straight after the final and thanked them for supporting me and this win is for them.”

He will return to his club Toulouse in France after the celebration in Suva and wants to make a positional switch in the fifteens.

“I have been playing in the wing and hopefully when I go back, they will change my position to flanker, I’m looking forward to that,” he added.

 Edited by Leone Cabenatabua



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