SPORTS

Kaiwalu Aims To Make Cut

Malakai Kaiwalu is adamant to be part of Athletics Fiji’s final nine-member team for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia in April. The Taunovo, Vatulele native made his
12 Jan 2018 11:00
Kaiwalu Aims To Make Cut
Team Fiji high jumper Malakai Kaiwalu clears the bar at 2.06m to win the gold medal during the Pacific Mini Games in Port Vila, Vanuatu on December 11, 2017. Photo: Peni Komaisavai

Malakai Kaiwalu is adamant to be part of Athletics Fiji’s final nine-member team for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia in April.

The Taunovo, Vatulele native made his debut for the country during the 2016 Melanesian Games where he equalled the national record in the men’s high jump. He recorded 2.09m in his second attempt and recently won gold at the 2017 Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu with a leap of 2.06m.

It was not an easy journey for Kaiwalu who is being raised by his mother.

He waited for three years before making his return to athletics.

He was part of the 2013 Pacific Mini Games squad but was dropped in the 11th hour.

“After what happened in 2013 I just quit playing the sport, I gave up but I’m fortunate to have a supporting mother who’s been there for me through thick and thin,”Kaiwalu said.

“In 2016 I came back and started trying out for the Melanesian Games and I thank my two coaches Ben Qumi and Jone Kalouniviti for helping me find my strength which enabled me to equal the national record.”

Moving forward the 22-year old is fighting for his spot in the final nine-member athletics team which he believes will be no different from the Pacific Games.

“I know the competition out there will be tough competing against the top athletes in the Commonwealth but I’m training hard and sacrificing a lot for this event.

“This will be my first Commonwealth Games and my aim is to give my best shot,” he said.

Kaiwalu has maternal links to Nativi village in Ra and his main challenge is juggling his academic studies, work and training.

He is the final year student at the College of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry doing a Bachelor of Science Degree in agriculture.

He currently does his attachment at the Koronivia Research Station.

“I do my studies and then work and train in the afternoon and looking forward to another new day.

“It’s tough but I always have God on my side and that is always my secret weapon, I pray before I start and end my day,” he added.

“Nothing is impossible I just have to trust myself and always put God first.”-

Edited by Osea Bola

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