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Nacuqu Waits For Olympics

Deceptive playmaker puts aside overseas offers as he pursues his ultimate dream
26 May 2020 13:39
Nacuqu Waits For Olympics
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s playmaker Waisea Nacuqu out fishing in Votua, Ba.

The moving of the Tokyo Olympic Games to July 23- August 8, next year has not deterred deceptive Fiji Airways Fijian 7s playmaker Waisea Nacuqu.

Speaking to SUNsports yesterday, Nacuqu said it was time like this the inspiring words of his cousin and former Fijian 7s star forward Pio Tuwai, that kept him going.

“Pio always tells me to be patient,” he said.

“By being patience throughout these years has enabled to reach my goals. Now I’ve after a spot in the team that will play in the Olympic Games in Japan.

Nacuqu recalled the moment he was dropped from the Team Fiji men’s sevens team for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

He has used that moment as a stepping stone to achieving bigger things in sevens rugby.

“After missing out on the Rio Olympics I’m ready to have another go in trying to win a spot in next year’s Olympic Games.

“I’ve come a long way in my rugby career after making my debut at the 2013 Gold Coast 7s tournament,” Nacuqu said.

“Playing alongside my cousins Pio Tuwai, Filipo Nakosi and Olympian Josua Tuisova the past few years has helped developed my game.

“As age catches up with me, my ultimate goal right now is to double my effort on the training pitch to earn a spot for the Olympic Games squad,” he said.

“I want to be an Olympian, to make history in my village so that the next generation of players from my village are motivated to equal my achievement or even better it.”

Nacuqu said he has no time to waste in terms of training for the Olympics.

“Time is precious. Our coach Gareth Baber and his staff have given us training programmes. I’ve been utilising my time well in trying to balance training with family commitment and village duties.

“This is the biggest game in the planet and to be a village boy and be playing at that level will be huge.

“Watching my cousins and some of my former and current team-mates playing at the 2016 Olympics has redirected my focus and preparations to a whole new level.”

The Malakati, Yasawa native understands the pressure of playing and performing at the World Sevens Series and it will be the same at the Olympic Games.

“We fly in and out for the series and the intensity and the pressure to stay consistent is a challenge for every player. The Olympic Games will be no different that.

“Keeping the right attitude and mindset in the way I approach my training and preparations will be vital especially when heading into the series and later the Olympic Games.

“I understand that there will be a few young players that will be joining the squad so that will a big challenge for me and other senior players.

“These youngsters will add speed into the squad so we will have to up the tempo and set standards so they follow.”

CHANGES

“The pace at which the series has evolved 16 months away from the Olympic Games has changed drastically,” he said.

“I will be working very hard on my defence, this is one of the key areas in 7s rugby that I personally need to improve on.

“The most important one I believe I will have to work hard in maintaining my fitness and consistency throughout the rest of the tournament.”

Nacuqu said the focus now was to complete the remaining tournaments in the series on a high note.

“My plan is to secure a contract after the Olympic Games next year.”

“So I’m taking things as they come even though some clubs have been interested, its sevens for me now.”

LOCKDOWN

Nacuqu said during the lockdown period it was hard for him because he missed being with his team-mates.

“I had my own time in trying to get the important things in my life sorted out first. That is my family.

“Most of the time I’m out fishing and farming with family members. and getting to learn new things outside by comfort zones and of course upgrading on my farm.

“Otherwise I was out training and looking forward to those video calls with my team mates as we update each other via Facebook messenger.”

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: simione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj

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