Swimmers Target Two Olympic Spots Spots     

“We have submitted for our eight swimmers to position up to Sydney, go through the normal quarantine and train there for at least one month.
14 Feb 2021 15:58
Swimmers Target Two Olympic Spots Spots     
Members of the Fiji Swimming team at the Aquatic Centre on February 13, 2021. Photo: Leon Lord

Eight swimmers who are vying for the two Olympic Games spots will train in Australia before the Open Nationals in April.

This will be possible if the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) funds are approved.

AOC had approached Oceania countries to assist in training their athletes for the Tokyo Olympics which from July 23 to August 8.

These include all sports that will be participating at the Olympics.

Fiji Swimming president, Ben Rova, said this was a great assistance for our local swimmers, since borders are still closed.

These eight swimmers are Taichi Vakasama, Epeli Rabua, Netani Ross, Temafa Yalimaiwai, Moana Wind, Matelita Buadromo, Cheyanne Rova and Yolani Blake.

“We are very thankful to the Australian Olympic Committee, that has passed on an invitation,” he said.

“And if they needed some training assistance in Australia, we were to make a submission to the Fiji Association of Sport And National Olympic Committee (FASANOC). They will collect all those submissions.

“Not only swimming but all other federations that are working on  training of their athletes for the Olympics are to submit a proposal to the AOC.

“We have done that.

“We have submitted for our eight swimmers to position up to Sydney, go through the normal quarantine and train there for at least one month.

“While they are there, there is also a New South Wales championship, which we have scheduled them to participate in,” Rova added.

Fiji Swimming has approached the Ministry of Health, for quarantine conditions upon their return.

“We are asking them if they can go to a quarantine facility, that will allow them access to the pool and the gym,” he said.

“Because when they come out of that quarantine they only have five or six days before the Open Nationals. And they will miss the Age Group Nationals.

“Those are some of the things we need to take if we want them to up skill themselves, get that exposure, which I think is very important for the eight.

“Once we have done that, we’re hoping that it will take them to another level.

“If funding comes through from the AOC, then we should have them going to Australia at the earliest towards the end of this month.

“We know that only two can go– top male and female, based on their FINA rankings.

“Rather than just identifying those two individuals, we are giving the eight the opportunity until the very last when the selection comes.

“It’s all now about the attitude in their training and getting the required results,” Rova added.


Long Course Grand Prix Two

About 50 swimmers participated in the second Long Course Grand Prix yesterday at the Aquatic Centre in Suva.

This event is the second of three mini competitions, which is a build-up for the Olympic Games and 2023 Pacific Games.

Only four of the eight swimmers took part yesterday.

Vakasama, Ross, Tabua and Wind were absent. Rova indicated that Wind was recovering from an injury.

“This is just to help them bring their time down and achieve the qualifying times that is required because we have two nationals that is happening in April – age group nationals and open national which is an Olympic qualifying event.

“Because of international borders closure and we cannot send people out, it is very important that we give them as much comp as possible so that it helps them prepare for that April comp.

“Once we have all the Olympics prep, and we selected a list of swimmers for our training squad. This is all for our 2023 Pacific Games in Solomon IslaPrix will be held in March, while the Open Nationals will be in April.

The Open National is an Olympic qualifying event.



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