Olympics | SPORTS

Rio Top Performers, What’s Next

The 2016 Rio Olympic Games is now over for Team Fiji. It has been a historic one as they return home today with the country’s first-ever Olympic medal, which is
21 Aug 2016 11:14
Rio Top Performers, What’s Next
TOP PERFORMERS: Team Fiji men’s rugby sevens team for winning the gold medal at the Rio Olympics. Inset: Team manager Ropate Kauvesi. Photos: Zimbio

The 2016 Rio Olympic Games is now over for Team Fiji. It has been a historic one as they return home today with the country’s first-ever Olympic medal, which is a gold.

This has triggered celebrations throughout the country. It started after our men’s rugby sevens side dumped Great Britain 43-7 in the final. So as we celebrate, let’s take a look at some of our high achievers in Rio and also our future medal prospects for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia.

 

RIO OLYMPICS
TOP COACH: Ben Ryan (men’s rugby sevens)- There’s no contest after Ryan coached our team to that historic gold medal win.

 

TOP MANAGER: Ropate Kauvesi (men’s rugby sevens)- Again like Ryan it was a no contest. As manager Kauvesi stood by his coach and ensured that everything the team needed were taken care of.

 

3 RIO TOP PERFORMERS

Men’s Rugby Sevens Team: Won the country’s first ever Olympic Games medal. Continued on their good form from the World Sevens Series where they recorded back-to-back wins.

Apolonia Vaivai (Weightlifting): Participated in the women’s 69kg. In the Rio Olympics she came third in Group B and was ranked 11th overall with a total lift of 201kg.

Manueli Tulo (Weightlifting): Took part in the men’s 56kg with a total lift of 242 kg at the Rio Olympics. He was ranked 5th in the Group stages and 13th overall.

 

2018 COMMONWEALTH GAMES MEDAL HOPEFULS
Fiji Men’s Rugby Sevens Team: They have not won a Commonwealth Games gold medal. Came close in the past where they managed to pick up two silvers and a bronze. After Rio, the challenge now is to go for gold in Gold Coast.

Apolonia Vaivai (Weightlifting): With more competition and specialised training at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute in Noumea, New Caledonia under coach. Paul Coffa, Vaivai should stand a good chance of winning a medal.

Manueli Tulo (Weightlifting): Section manager Atma Maharaj was impressed with Tulo’s performance especially his attitude of taking on the challenge. This could see him go a long way and someone to count on in 2018.

 

OTHER MEDAL PROSPECTS

Winston Hill (Boxing): Hill has now got a taste of top class competition at the Rio Olympics. After weeks of training in New Zealand he fought gallantly but lost of points. All he needs now is to fight regularly at home and also international competitions as well.

Leslie Copeland (Athletics): Don’t write off our champion javelin thrower. One bad throw in Rio does not mean it’s the end of the road for him. With further training in USA next year and a possible contract with Nike about to be sealed could pave the way forward for him in 2018.

Sally Yee (Table Tennis): She is the baby of the Team Fiji contingent to Rio. At the age of 15 Yee qualified for the Olympics through merit and with that exposure she is now destined for bigger and better things at the Gold Coast.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj

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