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Our Top Two

Leone Nakarawa continues to defy the odds since making his debut for the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians a decade ago. And he will continue to be the go-to-man for fans.
01 Jan 2019 10:11
Our Top Two
Racing 92 and Fiji Airways Flying Fijians lock forward Leone Nakarawa. 2018 Commonwealth Games Gold medalist weightlifter Eileen Cikamatana.Photo: Zimbio

Leone Nakarawa continues to defy the odds since making his debut for the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians a decade ago.

And he will continue to be the go-to-man for fans. Coach John McKee will rely on him at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan

Nakarawa, 30, capped off 2018 with a sterling performance hitting the headlines for his Top14 Racing 92 club in France and the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians.

In May he became the first Fijian to win the European Player of the Year.

In November he played an instrumental role as the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians beat France 21-14 in a historic first win.

McKee continues to be impressed with Na­karawa’s performance since he made his debut against Tonga in 2009.

“Almost a decade, Nakarawa continues to defy the odds,”McKee said.

“I’ve never seen him play so well for Fiji as he did against France.

“He was tireless, a workhorse for 80 minutes.

“And winning the European Player of The Year is testament is testament to his profession­alism, commitment and passion for the game.

“There are many very good players in Europe so it’s great honour for Nakarawa and Fiji. He has brought great honor to Fiji being the first Fijian to receive the award.”

Nakarawa will play in his third 2019Rugby World Cup in September.

Fans, Fiji Rugby Union and McKee hope will continue to defy the odds and do Fiji proud once again.

Lifter Cikamatana Gold Lift

Weightlifter Eileen Cikamatana won Fiji first Commonwealth Games gold medal in 16 years in Gold Coast, Australia in April 2018.

It was the most notable achievement for wom­en in sports in 2018 and they can push the bar higher as we herald in the New Year.

The 18-year-old comfortably won the women’s 90kg division.

She only completed one attempt in both the snatch and clean and jerk but her total of 233kg still secured the gold medal with two lifts to spare.

Her performance should push other aspiring women athletes to make a mark in the regional and global stage.

-edited by Sheldon Chanel

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