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Win medal, make it count, play your role, make Fiji proud

The Team Fiji contingent to the Commonwealth Games leaves for Gold Coast in Australia by the end of this week. The scout party are already in Gold Coast checking out
26 Mar 2018 11:00
Win medal, make it count, play your role, make Fiji proud
President Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konusi Konrote

The Team Fiji contingent to the Commonwealth Games leaves for Gold Coast in Australia by the end of this week.

The scout party are already in Gold Coast checking out the Games Village and preparing for the arrival of the team.

This is one of our biggest contingents, which compris­es 140 athletes and officials who will represent us in 12 sports.

During the traditional iTatau at the Borron House, Suva, last week, the President Major General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote reminded the athletes and officials of the important role they play during the Games.

The President said the increasing number of the Team Fiji contingent reflects how we have grown as a nation.

He reminded them the need to be good ambassadors and to do their best in whatever event they take part in.

The onus is now on athletes to do their best and win us a Commonwealth Games medal.

This is possible since they have done the hard yards- with training stints overseas and also many of them have competed internationally.

For Team Fiji, they don’t have to look that far to get that inspiration of doing the impossibilities.

We’ve done it before at the Commonwealth Games and we can do it again.

Apart from the Silver and Bronze medal wins from our Team Fiji men’s rugby sevens team, some of our ath­letes have done well in the individual sports like;

  • Sani Fine (Amateur Boxing): He won the light heavyweight Gold Medal at the 1982 Com­monwealth Games in Brisbane, Australia. Fine first represented Tonga at the 1979 South Pacific Games in Suva where he won a Sil­ver Medal after losing to Kamisese Vaubula.He returned to Fiji after the SPG and married a local woman and went on to represent the country. Fine injured his hand before the Com­monwealth Games final but hid it from medi­cal officials although he was in a lot of pain. He passed the medical test and went on to beat Uganda’s Jonathan Kirisa on points while re­nowned world heavyweight champion Joseph Parker’s chief trainer Kevin Barry won the bronze for New Zealand.
  • Nacanieli Takayawa (Judo): Takayawa won a Gold Medal in the men’s heavyweight divi­sion of the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Man­chester, England. He was trained by his late dad and former judo champion Viliame Takayawa. Nacanieli was a locally produced athlete and attended short training stints in Japan.After a disappointing performance at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, Nacanieli did not give-up but bounced back to do his country proud in Manchester.
  • Sisilia Nasiga (Judo): She hails from Deu­ba and won the Bronze Medal in the wom­en’s 70 kilogramme of the 2002 Common­wealth Games in Manchester, England. Like Takayawa, she was also a locally trained athlete. In an interview with ITV Nasiga stated: “Back in Fiji my husband is my coach but it is not full time and we really haven’t got the same facilities that are available here. All the good players and famous athletes are there. It is a bit like being in Hollywood for me.”

 

For Team Fiji athletes there is no turning back from here- it’s a do-or-die effort on their part to win a medal and do our beloved nation proud.

If they are there only to clock their personal best times or to get the much- needed exposure then they should think again.

The challenge for them is to make it count and already Fine, Takayawa, Nasiga and our men’s rugby sevens team have shown that impossible if nothing- if they are to put their heart and soul into it.

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj

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