Bower Delivers Olympics Update

Character development and striving for personal bests will be the central theme for Team Fiji during the Tokyo Olympic Games in July. Only the men’s and women’s 7s rugby teams
25 Jan 2020 14:42
Bower Delivers Olympics Update
From left: Team Fiji chef de mission Patrick Bower, Japanese Ambassador to Fiji Masahiro Omura and Fiji Association of Sport and National Olympic Committee president Makarita Lenoa at the Olympic House in Suva on January 24, 2020. Photo: Sheldon Chanel

Character development and striving for personal bests will be the central theme for Team Fiji during the Tokyo Olympic Games in July.

Only the men’s and women’s 7s rugby teams have secured places at the quadrennial event, with athletes from other sports due to compete for qualification in the coming month.

Some 11,090 athletes from around the world are expected at the Games, which is one of the most highly-anticipated sporting events in the world.

Team Fiji chef de mission, Patrick Bower, says the Games’ vision of ‘sport has the power to change the world and our future’ will be an important part of the contingent’s activities.

“The development of character is a critical issue and Japan has placed an emphasis on this,” he said.

“We want to see that the athletes go to Japan not only to learn about the country but to forge friendships and long-lasting relationships and experiences. To bring them back to Fiji as greater citizens understanding fully what it means to serve.”

Bower comments came while giving the media an update on the preparations at the Olympic House in Flagstaff, Suva yesterday.

He was joined by Masahiro Omura, Japan’s Ambassador to Fiji, and Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee president Makarita Lenoa.

Team Fiji expect athletes from athletics, archery, boxing, judo, karate, table tennis and swimming to join the contingent. From those sports, athletics has been given one universality place with two set aside for swimming.

The individual federations will choose the athletes to fill those spots and submit the names for vetting to the FASANOC. The closing date for the final list of names is June 12, with the Games scheduled from July 24 to August 9.

“For swimming, there are quite a number of athletes – in total nine – that are vying for positions. It’s a good sign and they are ready to meet challenge and fight for their positions,” Bower said.

Team Fiji athletes will also be subjected to random drug tests in the lead up to the Games.

In this regard, FASANOC will be organising a workshop on January 31 to ensure Team Fiji is compliant with the rules. There will also be two mandatory medical tests for athletes and officials, the first on February 22 and the final one on June 6.

Bower said the tentative departure date for Tokyo is earmarked for July 16. Athletes and officials will also be charged $500 in levies that will cover uniforms, insurance accommodation and travel.

Here are the individual updates for each sport:


Sprinter Banuve Tabakaucoro and triple-jumper Eugene Vollmer will have a chance to qualify on merit at the qualifying tournament in Australia starting February 4.


The leading contender to qualify is Robert Elder. He will get an opportunity to do so at the 2020 World Archery Championships to be held in Fiji in April. World Archery Fiji is also in the process of selecting a team to compete at the 2020 World Archery Oceania Championships in February, which is a continental qualifying tournament.


Winston Hill and Jone Koroilagilagi were set to compete at the 2020 Asia-Oceania Olympic Qualifiers in the Chinese City of Wuhan next month.

But that competition was cancelled in light of the deadly coronavirus outbreak, with an alternative venue yet to be announced. Should they miss out, the duo’s final chance to qualify will be at the World Qualifiers in France this May.


Tevita Takayawa, who is currently in Japan on a sports scholarship, will be competing at a qualifying event in Europe next month.


Team Fiji karate’s Tevita Tawamudu must improve on his current World Karate Federation rankings to participate at an Olympic qualifying event.


Team Fiji swimmers are in New Zealand preparing for the Games.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua


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