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No One Is Bigger Than The Sport: Maharaj Tells Cikamatana

Weightlifting Fiji (WF) believes that issues and problems that arise in the sport need to be resolved by dialogue between relevant parties through cooperation and team work Weightlifting Fiji president
23 Oct 2018 10:39
No One Is Bigger Than The Sport: Maharaj Tells Cikamatana
2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Eileen Cikamatana to miss the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Zimbio

Weightlifting Fiji (WF) believes that issues and problems that arise in the sport need to be resolved by dialogue between relevant parties through cooperation and team work

Weightlifting Fiji president Atma Maharaj said they are proud to have not only empowered Eileen Cikamatana but also women athletes and officials in the organisation

“WF has been at the forefront of such empowerment for decades with our best athletes,” Maharaj said.

“Many world-class athletes may think that they are bigger than the sport that they play, but they do not think about those that gave them the opportunity to shine on the world stage in the first place. “No doubt that Eileen is a world class, but there was a strong team behind her that supported her along the way to her success.

“It is sad that we have seen Eileen forgetting those who initially helped her establish herself in the sport.”

“WF has always and will continue to empower our members and athletes to be the best that they can be.”

Maharaj said the information provided by Cikamatana in withdrawing from the organisation was inaccurate

“We would like to emphatically state that no one removed Eileen from representing Fiji, but Eileen herself,” he explained.

“Eileen and other lifters withdrew from the 2018 Oceania Championship and other international meets on their own accord.”

Maharaj  said the reason why Cikamatana was suspended was because of her refusal to train with the appointed national coach from Iran.

“Eileen was never asked by WF to relocate to Suva and train with the head coach, before she boycotted Fiji.

“She missed the opportunity to compete at the World Junior and World Senior Championship and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This has been her own doing by refusing to withdraw from her boycotts

“She insists on continuing her boycott and as a result cannot represent Fiji.

“Due to the boycott, WF does not have any elite lifters currently participating in the sport.

“WF has decided to speed up its development and establish weightlifting centres and clubs at various places around Fiji.

“We all know that no athlete or official is bigger than the sport and everyone must abide by the rules of the sport.”

Maharaj said WF would not do anything that would jeopardise Fiji’s international standing in the sport.

He added those who are willing to join the sport needs to be committed.

“WF needs to be sure that the athletes who wish to return are genuine in their desire to represent Fiji again and respect the authority of the national federation,” he said

“The suspended lifters were given the opportunity to return to the sport under the WF terms and conditions.

“The athletes will need to show that they are fully committed to the sport and WF.”

– Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback:  nikolau.ravai@fijisun.com.fj

 

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