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After 14 Years! Rabua Wins Gold

After 14 Years! Rabua Wins Gold
National men’s swimming captain Epeli Rabua shows his gold medal during the 12th Oceania Swimming Championships in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea on June 28, 2018. Photo: Fiji Swimming
June 30
11:05 2018

After 14 years of drought the national swimming team have finally won a gold medal at the Oceania Swimming Championships.

And to make it happen was Epeli Rabua when he stopped the clock at 29.34seconds to win the gold medal in the men’s 50m breaststroke at the 12th Oceania Swimming Championships in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea on Thursday night.

Rabua finished 1/100th of a second ahead of favourite Jonathan Rutter of New Zealand, who clocked 29.35 secs while Fiji’s Taichi Vakasama settled for the bronze medal with a time of 29.36 secs.

National men’s swimmer Oakley Johns (second from right) at the start of his race during the Oceania Swimming Championships in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea on June 27, 2018.  Photo:  Fiji Swimming

National men’s swimmer Oakley Johns (second from right) at the start of his race during the Oceania Swimming Championships in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea on June 27, 2018.
Photo: Fiji Swimming

The Sharon Smith- coached side were able to bag three Oceania medals and two Island medals. The third Oceania medal came from Moana Wind who won bronze after she stopped the clock at 34.08 secs.

Two Island medals were won by Tevita Fotofili and Rosemarie Rova as the team achieved four personal best times bringing our total personal best times to 13.

National women’s swimmer Yolani Blake shows her medal during the 12th Oceania Swimming Championships in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea on June 27, 2018. Photo:  Fiji Swimming

National women’s swimmer Yolani Blake shows her medal during the 12th Oceania Swimming Championships in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea on June 27, 2018. Photo: Fiji Swimming

Fiji’s competitiveness at the championships boils down to a decade of strategic planning, says Oceania Swimming Association president Dennis Miller.

“Fiji is winning medals in the main competition and not in the island medal category, so it’s very satisfying for us,” Miller told The National newspaper.

“For Fiji, it’s been a long 10-year programme basically since the Pacific Games in 2007 where we only had three or four swimmers. I was part of Fijian Swimming so we sat down and refocused; we did strategic planning to bring us to where we are now.

“Now we have a very enthusiastic group on the board, a good club competition and schools competition and the swimmers utilise all the resources they have with the government of Fiji as a big supporter.”

With Fiji’s leading success in comparison with the competing Pacific island countries at the championship, Miller was confident that Fiji will be competitive at next year’s Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa.

 

Edited by Leone Cabenatbua

Feedback:  karalaini.tavi@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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