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EDITORIAL: Celebrating Cikamatana’s Golden Achievement

EDITORIAL: Celebrating Cikamatana’s Golden Achievement
Eileen Cikamatana accepts her gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in the traditional iTaukei manner.
April 29
11:11 2018

We always have high expectations for our athletes to fly the flag with pride and de­liver desired outcomes on the global stage.

We always think that the top finish or gold medal win is the only option.

But in our quest for our athletes to win, we don’t un­derstand or we disregard the difficulty, intensity and the journey it takes for athletes to reach the top.

Therefore winners deserve to be applauded for their effort. They make us proud, giving all us an opportu­nity for something to boast about.

A case in point is Eileen Cikamatana, who lifted the spirit of the nation earlier his month.

The entire nation cheered for her when she won the gold medal in weightlifting (90kg) at the 2018 Com­monwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

She was one of the favourites from the start. And in the end, she was the only gold medal recipient for Fiji at the four-yearly event.

In achieving the rare feat, she is the first Fijian woman to do that which was only won by three other athletes in the past – Nacanieli Takayawa (judo-2002 Manchester), Sani Fine (boxing-1982 Brisbane) and Mataika Tuicakau (athletics-1950 Auckland).

But do we value the gold medal performance of our athletes, especially those who are representing mi­nor sports?

In fact, athletes from the so-called minor sports now are the ones winning us gold at the Commonwealth Games.

Therefore, we must applaud those who took time out and appreciate those who toiled for years to cap­ture that special moment.

The Government, through the Fiji National Sports Commission, should be applauded for making it hap­pen in the first place.

Minister for Youth and Sports Laisenia Tuitubou has promised monetary rewards for the top eight athletes at the Games.

The Lomaiviti Provincial Council rewarded Ci­kamatana on Friday for her effort.

Yesterday, the villagers of Taviya, Ovalau, and Ci­kamatana’s families and relatives hosted a feast to celebrate the unique achievement.

Special thanks must be forwarded to Weightlifting Fiji and the Cikamatana family who have been sup­porting Eileen throughout.

Eileen will fly to New Caledonia next week to con­tinue her training at the Oceania Weightlifting Insti­tute in Noumea.

Definitely, her next target now is the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Perhaps it’s time that all stakeholders, including corporate organisations, pitch in to make Eileen do it for Fiji again at the Olympic stage.

She deserves all our support


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