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Editorial: Banz Return To Athletics Will Inspire Team Fiji In Apia

Sprinter Banuve Tabakaucoro’s return to athletics is an inspirational story. The ‘Fastest man in the Pacific’ switched to 7s rugby after missing out on Olympic qualification in 2016, despite setting
24 Dec 2018 14:25
Editorial: Banz Return To Athletics Will Inspire Team Fiji In Apia
Sprinter Banuve Tabakaucoro (left), with his brother Joseva on December 21, 2018. Photo: Simione Haravanua

Sprinter Banuve Tabakaucoro’s return to athletics is an inspirational story.

The ‘Fastest man in the Pacific’ switched to 7s rugby after missing out on Olympic qualification in 2016, despite setting a new 100m national record of 10.2seconds.

He played six international games for Team Fiji, before suffering a career-ending injury at the Vanuatu Pacific Mini Games in 2017.

The sprinter considered quitting sports altogether after suffering the knee injury, but he has persevered.

While Tabakaucoro’s stint with rugby is over, he has fully-recovered and is raring to go in athletics.

Once a household name on the athletics tracks, his comeback is an inspiring story.

It is a welcome sight to have the sprinter back in training preparing to represent Fiji at next year’s Pacific Games in Samoa.

Tabakaucoro is on a quest to regain his gold medals and Athletics Fiji must be excited about his return.

The sprinter’s coach, Bola Tafo’ou, said he had noticed Tabakaucoro seemed hungrier for a win than at any other time in his career.

Tabakaucoro will be an inspiration to the rest of the team if he makes the cut.

Not only because he is now one of the more senior athletes but also because of his sterling record on the track.

He has already qualified for the 200m events and given his recent 100m times – 10.8s in the first trial and 10.6s in training – qualification is imminent.

Tabakaucoro’s progress will be followed carefully and expectations will be sky-high.

He holds the national 100m and 200m records, with times of 10.2s and 20.53s respectively.

He is also a well-know figure in athletics across the region and was labelled the fastest man in the Pacific in 2011.

His exploits from his days with Marist Brothers High School remained etched in the Coca-Cola Games history books.

Tabakaucoro holds the inter-boys record in the 100m and 200m event, setting times of 10.71s and 21.7s respectively.

He followed that up with records in the senior boys 100m and 200m, running times of 10.43s and 21.04s respectively.

The blue ribbon event champion’s record on the track has earned him respect both on and off it.

Athletes, especially younger ones, look up to him and his comeback will fire the team up.

Tabakaucoro can also be the leader and figurehead for Team Fiji, in a similar way world 100m sprint record holder Usain Bolt led Jamaica.

Young athletes can look to Tabakaucoro for inspiration

It’s always a plus to have a great Fijian and Pacific sprinter as one of the leaders in the squad.

They can learn from his experience on the international scene and draw confidence from the manner in which he is making a return to the sport of athletics.

The sprinter has unfinished business in athletics. Conquering the tracks in Samoa will be first on the agenda.

Feedback: sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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