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ATHLETICS AIMING BIG IN SAMOA

Athletics Fiji has aimed to bring back 12 Gold medals from July’s Samoa Pacific Games, a top official says, five more than what was achieved in 2015 in Papua New
20 Jan 2019 11:00
ATHLETICS AIMING BIG IN SAMOA
XVI Pacific Games

Athletics Fiji has aimed to bring back 12 Gold medals from July’s Samoa Pacific Games, a top official says, five more than what was achieved in 2015 in Papua New Guinea.

Chief development officer Joseph Rodan Jr says the athletics team to Samoa will consist of 19 athletes and 7 officials, which should be finalised by April.

Three athletes have so far made the cut, including 800m runner Petero Veitaqomaki, Ana Kaloucava and Banuve Tabakaucoro.

“The coaches have been working hard on the team and the athletes are being guided well by a pool of very good coaches,” Rodan Jr said.

“In Samoa, we are aiming for gold in the men’s 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 4x100m and 4x400m events and also a few other field events.

“For the women, we are aiming for the 400m, 800m, and the high jump events.”

Rodan Jr said the officials wanted to prioritise quality over quantity when selecting the team to Samoa, especially since funding was a challenge.

“We want to take the best of the best to Samoa because a lot is at stake,” he said.

“The emphasis will be on high performance and winning medals for the country against the region’s best.”

In the lead up to the Games, Athletics Fiji is holding regular weekend meets to prepare its athletes for competition.

This runs separate to the official trials, and ensures athletes have a chance to put up consistent times.

“We want to do away with athletes who attend just one trial and qualify for the games,” Rodan Jr said.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

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