Fiji Sports

Pioneering Sprint Champ Ana Dies

WAISEA NASOKIA Nadi Former sprint queen Ana Birch (nee Ramacake ) died last Thursday. Her eldest daughter and former swimming champ Angela Birch confirmed her 79-year-old mother died at their
19 Jul 2014 11:26

WAISEA NASOKIA
Nadi
Former sprint queen Ana Birch (nee Ramacake ) died last Thursday.
Her eldest daughter and former swimming champ Angela Birch confirmed her 79-year-old mother died at their residence in Nadi.
For her achievements in athletics, she was inducted in Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee Hall of Fame in 1993.
“We are mourning the loss of our beloved mother,” her daughter said yesterday.
As Ana Ramacake, her mother, made her debut for Fiji at the age of 29 at the inaugural 1963 South Pacific Games in Buckhurst Park in Suva. She made a mark winning a total of five medals – two gold, two silver and one bronze.
In the 1966 SPG in Noumea, New Caledonia, she claimed two gold and two silver medals. In that same year she travelled to Kingston, Jamaica, all alone, without a manager or coach to represent Fiji for the British Empire Games (now Commonwealth Games).
That same year she competed at the New Zealand Championships where she won the gold medal in the long jump of 5.89 metre, a New Zealand national record, which was not recognised since was a visitor.
At the 1967 National Easter Championships, she set a national long jump record of 5.93 metres, which still stands at the time of her induction.
She also set a 200 metre national, native and all-comers record of 24.6 seconds, which was broken 25 years later.
The pioneer sprint champion hailed from Visama in Tailevu and was educated at Lelean Memorial School.
She is survived by her husband John, two daughters and one grandchild.
The funeral is likely to be held at the Nasareci Methodist Church in Namaka on Wednesday at 10am.
John and Ana Birch were tourism industry indentities, including developing the Sandalwood Lodge at Nadi.
Feedback: waisean@fijisun.com.fj




Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: