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 Taviya Party For Eileen

 Taviya Party For Eileen
Eileen Cikamatana with Taviya Village women on April 28, 2018. Photo: Manhar Lal
April 30
10:00 2018

A traditional welcoming ceremony of vakamamaca/ cerevi was accorded to Commonwealth Games gold med­allist Eileen Cikamatana at Taviya village in Ovalau on Saturday.

The ceremony is only done to Fijians who accomplished high achievements.

Cikamatana is the Fiji’s first female athlete to win gold at the four –yearly after 16 years.

“I did not expect the occasion to be huge. I was dressed in traditional attire as I was welcomed by close families and friends,” she said.

“My uncle Samuela Cikamatana and his two children travelled all the way from New Zealand to be part of the celebration.

“Men and women played the ukulele and guitar, used old tins as drums and sang as they welcome me to the village. There was a slight drizzle in the morning and that was seen as a blessing. But this did not deter the men and women from performing the tradi­tional protocol.

Eileen Cikamatana’s family came from New Zealand to attend the celebration in Taviya Village, Ovalau on April 28, 2018. Photo: Manhar Lal

Eileen Cikamatana’s family came from New Zealand to attend the celebration in Taviya Village, Ovalau on April 28, 2018. Photo: Manhar Lal

“After all the traditional protocol, there was a big feast and I’m very grateful.

The 18-year-old next target is to represent Fiji at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and win first medal for Fiji in weightlifting.

Cikamatana said winning gold at the Com­monwealth Games was a big step towards achieving greater things in future.

“My focus now is to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The International Weight­lifting Federation has announced a new qualification system for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics,” she said.

“This will require each athlete vying for places to compete in at least 6 international competitions and score points. Only the top 8 from each weight category in the world will qualify.

“My focus will be on meeting the new qual­ification requirements set by IWF. The qual­ifying process starts on November 1, 2018.”

“I only looked up to two people as my role models. And they are my parents for their work ethic and not relying on others.

“The next target now is the Tokyo Olym­pics and I am blessed to have my family sup­porting me.”

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback: oseab@fijisun.com.fj

 

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