SPORTS

External Influence’ Swayed Cikamatana

Weightlifting Fiji’s life-member, Christopher Yee, says the federa­tion will open ‘a can of worms’ to reveal the person behind the saga after the Junior World Champion­ships in Suva in June.
10 Mar 2019 17:51
External Influence’ Swayed Cikamatana
Eileen Cikamatana

A top Weightlifting Fiji offi­cial has pointed to an ‘exter­nal influence’ that swayed champion lifter Eileen Cikama­tana to sever ties with Fiji and join Australia.

Weightlifting Fiji’s life-member, Christopher Yee, says the federa­tion will open ‘a can of worms’ to reveal the person behind the saga after the Junior World Champion­ships in Suva in June.

“This is an internal problem where an external influence is com­ing in trying to destroy Weightlift­ing Fiji,” Yee said.

“We have not come out to tell eve­ryone who’s behind it because we don’t want to air our dirty linen in public. The other party has been do­ing it.

“I would advise the media to do some investigations before pub­lishing anything because there is a lot of false information in circula­tion.”

He was speaking as a panellist at the 2019 Annual National Sports Organisation conference, themed ‘the business of sports’, at Suva’s Grand Pacific Hotel yesterday.

The saga began last May when lift­ers from Levuka, including Com­monwealth Games women’s under 90KG gold medallist Cikamatana, refused to train under new Iranian coach Hossein Tavakoli.

Cikamatana, 19, was reportedly awarded an Australian permanent residency last month and plans to represent her new country at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

“It’s a big loss to have Eileen join Australia but is Eileen greater than the sport?” Yee said.

“Eileen’s departure made us reach out to other places for new talents and we saw that we have huge po­tential in Fiji.

“There are new Eileen Cikamatan­as coming out; new Apolonia Vai­vais being discovered. We are dis­covering bigger and better talents.

“While losing Eileen was a loss to the country, another Eileen will rise soon.”

Yee also warned the individuals he believes are trying to destroy the national federation to ‘be very careful.’

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback: sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj



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