SPORTS

No Pressure, Says Taberanibou

Fiji’s gold medal prospect in table says he does not feel any pressure going into the Oceania Para Championship tomorrow. Iakoba Taberanibou will be among many others competing at the
12 Apr 2017 11:29
No Pressure, Says Taberanibou
Iakoba Eranibou 36 prepare for Oceania Para-table tennis Championship. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Fiji’s gold medal prospect in table says he does not feel any pressure going into the Oceania Para Championship tomorrow.

Iakoba Taberanibou will be among many others competing at the Championship at the Vodafone Arena in Suva.

With a 2015 Pacific Games gold medal under his belt, Taberanibou said remaining calm is his secret to coping with the major expectations resting on his shoulders.

“Preparations have been tough for me, especially since we lost our old facility and the time frame to prepare is short, but I am going to try my best,” he said.

“This is really a big tournament and we will be going up against the best so of course there is pressure and always will be, because people are counting on you to win something.

“But for me, I deal with pressure by staying calm. I mean if you keep thinking that there is pressure on you, then it will affect you.

“But if you just relax and go with the flow, play your own game and do everything that the coach has told then you will be okay and play your best.

“That is how I deal with pressure and I know I am going to have the time of my life when I play because I have been looking forward to this day for a long time.”

Taberanibou said that it all comes down to mentality and that was what sets him apart as he looks forward to meeting his rivals from Australia and New Zealand.

“When it comes to major competitions like this, the fact that it is so important can really play with your mind,” he said.

“But I have played in enough tournaments, both locally and abroad, to know that apart from the physical aspect of training, you need to also train your mind.

“If you are not there mentally, then you will not perform to the best of your ability and for me, preparing myself mentally is a huge part of my performance.

“On the day, everything just escapes you and you just come down to that very moment and you are either fully there or half there or not there at all in the head.

“So I am really looking forward to this competition, I am proud to represent Fiji and I am excited to meet my old friends from Australia and New Zealand.

“No doubt the tough competition will come from Australia and New Zealand, but it will really challenge us to do our best, so I am looking forward to that.

“I am blessed to be here today doing something not only for myself but for my country.”

With so many people living with disabilities, Taberanibou is urging them never to lose hope and follow their dreams.

“What I always think about when it comes to tournaments like this, is about all the para’s out there,” Taberanibou said.

“I want to challenge other para’s out there to step up. There are opportunities out there and I don’t ever want them to give up just because they have a disability.

“If one door closes, another will always open. I want them to take part in sport no matter what it is and make their dreams come true.”

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