Ali’s Our Favourite
Sameer Ali will be one of the favourites to win the 7th Oceania Championship and 2nd Oceania Para Championship at the Vodafone Arena.
Ali won a bronze medal in the 58kg category in the Mini Games in Wallis and Futuna in 2011.
But Fiji Taekwondo Association representative Stephanie Waqanivavalagi said young athletes should not be overlooked.
“Sameer participated in Wallis and Futuna and scored very well,” Waqanivavalagi said.
“He got a bronze medal there and he’s our favourites for now but don’t rule out all the young ones who are participating in the coloured belt categories.
“There are a total of 14 countries participating and Fiji has a wide range of athletes from ages 5 to 31.”
Waqanivavalagi said the importance of the event is not only because of a world ranking but to also educate the officials on how to host such an event.
“This tournament is really good for development of taekwondo in the country,” she said.
“It will give us an idea about the technical skills in organising this sort of event in the country in future.
“The importance of this event is that it is a G4 event which means they get ranked on the world scale.
“So if you are placed 24th here then you are actually placed 24th in the world so that is what is very unique about this competition. We also have our para athletes participating here as well.”
The Oceania Championship and second Oceania Para Championship continue today.