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Highs And Lows Of The C’Wealth Games

Highs And Lows Of The C’Wealth Games
Eileen Cikamatana celebrates after winning the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in the 90kg women’s weightlifting category in Gold Coast, Australia. Photo: Anasilini Ratuva
April 17
10:00 2018

Team Fiji yesterday returned from the 2018 Commonwealth Games with 4 medals in the bag. We sent 96 athletes- 49 females and 47 males along with 32 officials. We were represented in 12 sports and logistically it was one of our biggest teams ever to the Games.

Looking at the results of their performance, it’s sad that we did not achieve a lot. Yes, there were some highlights but mostly it was disappointing to see that in some sports we had failed miserably despite all the hype surrounding them before leaving for the Gold Coast.

All those medal prospect stories amounted to nothing when our athletes met the stark reality of the progress made by the other nations.

Yes, we’re still way behind and it has been like that for decades but in our ignorance we’ve often disregard that as we condone the notion that we are still the best when it’s not.

We can go on and on but realistically what has happened in Gold Coast has happened and we should learn our lessons. The focus is what are we are going to do in the next four years as we build-up to the Birmingham Commonwealth Games?

And the best way to go about that is to check out the performance of our big contingent in Gold Coast. The Highs and Lows and what can be done to better our performance come 2022.

 

HIGHS

 Eileen Cikamatana: The 18-year-old has become the first Fijian woman to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. She is destined for bigger things if she stays under coach Paul Coffa of the Oceania Weightlifting Institute in New Caledonia

Men’s 7s Rugby: The Olympic champions will have to wait for another 4 years to try and win their first Commonwealth Games gold medal. It was unfortunate that they had to play in Hong Kong a week earlier before moving to Gold Coast.

The South Africans, New Zealand, England and Australia decided to keep their number one team for the Commonwealth Games but not Fiji. So reaching the final is something we should be proud of.

Apolonia Vaivai: She’s a fighter and came in third to clinch a bronze in the 69kg women’s weightlifting category. Vaivai also won a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland

Winston Hill: Came close to reaching the final in the welterweight boxing division. A bronze medal was good enough for Hill and his semifinal loss to Aidan Walsh means that he still has a lot to learn.

Performances of some of our young athletes like Epeli Rabua and Taichi Vakasama in swimming as they recorded their personnel bests. Athletics it was shot put thrower Mustapha Falls and Aaron Powell who showed a lot promise in running the 100m heats with a time of 11.03sec into a headwind. Should work on his leg speed but as he gets older it should help boost his performance.

 

LOWS

 Dismal performance of our badminton and squash national teams. Most of them bowed out during the first round of competition. One wonders whether their preparations were ever monitored. More like a picnic trip to me!

Our bowlers failed to shine yet again. Need to blood in younger players and play a lot of international tournaments to boost their performance. Relying on their past success could be misleading.

So disappointing to see our women’s netball side returning home without a win. Again.

Hard luck for the Iliesa Tanivula coached- women’s rugby sevens team as they came fifth. The side have the potential to win at least a medal but it was not to be!

 

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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