Sunvoice

EDITORIAL: We Fall Far Short Of Our Target In Port Moresby

Before the dust settles in Port Moresby and Team Fiji returns home, the Pacific Games exposed how ill-prepared we were in several sports. It will require some serious soul-searching and
19 Jul 2015 12:06
EDITORIAL: We Fall Far Short Of Our Target In Port Moresby
Elenoa Sailosi and Younis Bese celebrate winning gold in the women’s 4x100m relay at the Pacific Games. Photo: Anasilni Ratuva

Before the dust settles in Port Moresby and Team Fiji returns home, the Pacific Games exposed how ill-prepared we were in several sports.

It will require some serious soul-searching and deliberate action plan for us to lift our game for the 2019 Pacific Games in Tonga.

After the closing ceremony of the 2015 Games in Port Moresby yesterday, the team finished far short of its projected target of 80 gold medals.

While some sports federations have done relatively well, the onus is on other sports to step up.

We have never won the four-yearly event since the inaugural Games in Suva in 1963 and it’s highly unlikely that we will be beating Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia and Tahiti any time soon.

The Government, sponsors and stakeholders expect a positive return on their investment. Because of this, questions will be asked and they expect answers.

We cannot expect them to continue contributing without seeing an improvement. Team Fiji must buck the trend. It’s as simple as that.

Sports federations must have a clear goal and plan for the next four years.

 

Record delegation for Rio

Before Tonga, our immediate priority is next year’s Rio Olympics where we are likely to send a big delegation, the biggest ever from the Pacific region and for a nation of fewer than one million people

At least 30 athletes (7s rugby and football), with at least 13 or more are likely to join the delegation.

The women’s rugby sevens team, the Telecom Fijiana, could also qualify for Rio if it wins the Olympic qualifier in November.

Three-time major champion golfer Vijay Singh, at 52, could be the oldest man in the first Olympic men’s golf tournament since 1904. He is ranked No. 207 and will likely be safely into the Rio Olympics if he’s still in the top 300 on the ranking cut-off date of July 11, 2016.

Sprint king Banuve Tabakaucoro and javelin thrower Leslie Copeland will both have to go to other IAAF -sanctioned meets to try and qualify for Rio.

Tabakaucoro clocked 10.55seconds in winning the 100metres final but the qualifying time is 10.16secs.

Tabaukoro blitzed the 200m men’s final on Thursday setting a new record of 20.53secs.

However, it was .03 seconds off the qualifying time of 20.50secs to book him a spot to Rio.

“I shouldn’t have turned my head,” he said after the race.

“I have this habit of turning my head at the finish,” as he reviewed his race.

Copeland, who’s been battling a niggling shoulder injury since March, threw over 70 metres and won gold but the qualifying distance for Rio is 83m and Copeland’s personal best is 80.45m.

In 2012, Fiji, with a population of 890,000, had nine Olympians. Its biggest-ever team at a single Games was 23 at Seoul 1988, according to sports-reference.com.

Luxembourg is the only nation with fewer than 1,000,000 people to have 40 or more competitors at a single Olympics.

So Fiji is likely to score another first for the region. But it’s time we get serious about making a mark, plan well and make it count. We don’t want to just make the numbers.

Feedback: oseab@fijisun.com.fj

 

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