Well Done Team Fiji Boxing

The Pacific Games held this month in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea were a tremendous success and we must give thanks to the organising committee and officials behind the scenes
26 Jul 2015 11:32
Well Done Team Fiji Boxing

The Pacific Games held this month in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea were a tremendous success and we must give thanks to the organising committee and officials behind the scenes who made this wonderful event a reality.

From the lavish opening ceremony, the track and field events to the memorable closing ceremony the host nation certainly delivered when it came to the crunch time.

In regards to boxing, it was a very well- run event with officials from AIBA, the world governing body for amateur boxing, flying in from all parts of the globe to ensure a safe and successful tournament.

As some of you may be aware we sent across a small team of only three boxers, Winston Hill a Welterweight at 69 kgs, Cena Ruata a Light Heavyweight at 81 kgs and Viliame Vitukalulu a Heavyweight at 91 kgs.

This team was sent to gain experience as we had not been competing in the international arena for some time. Where the majority of the other nations had been training for the last three years in preparation for the Pacific Games, we had only 10 weeks to prepare in total.

It was only through a lifeline given by sponsors like Ravindra Nath, owner of Wishbone and Pizza King companies, and Praveen Singh owner of Lincoln Refrigeration, the trip was made possible.

The majority of teams participating had the advantage of high technical training in Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, France and Asia, our boys had to do with local training, limited sparring partners and very sparse resources.

In fact it was only their perseverance to hard work, unwavering dedication and commitment which gave us the confidence to send them to compete for Fiji on the international stage.

We were unranked in the region and expected to only show up for the experience and nothing more. Obviously our boys and their dedicated trainers didn’t read the script.

Their first bouts were nail-biting and gripping as all three boys won and settled into a focused and determined frame of mind.

This focus and dedication continued bout after bout as their boxing skills and unrelenting will to win surfaced.

As each day passed of the tournament our three boys were there at the end of the night with victories.

As we approached the semifinals for all the boxers we were now guaranteed a Bronze medal for each of the three boys we had sent to the competition a great achievement indeed.

Once again they went into battle and it was beyond comprehension that all three could get into the finals of their weight classes but surely not.

It was amazing that all three would win medal at the games and now all of them were on the cusp of reaching the finals, at this stage of the competition you certainly sort out the boys from the men as the skill factor and training came into effect.

Again the boys did not let us down as each of them progressed to the finals of their weight class and now we were guaranteed silver medals.

Cena Ruata our light heavyweight actually stopped all of his opponents on the way to the final and was showing his full artillery of power and skills at the tournament.

A nice gesture by the world governing body AIBA was to make Team Fiji Boxing the team of the day after a great performance from all the boxers to get to the final.

The final was a step too far for our gallant boys who faced very experienced and well-trained individuals who had the added advantage of international exposure and obviously great international training, but boy did we scare them.

All three boys came home with silver medals and with only a 10-week training camp and limited exposure we must be very happy indeed and would like to thank all three of them for making Fiji proud. Well done Boys!

Finally, can you imagine how good they would be if they actually trained for a full camp and had international exposure, I think you know the answer.


 The writer is a Fiji Sun

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