Olympics

I’ll Never Forget My Son’s Try: Vuniani

“When they (Fiji) win, our family is overjoyed as we all link up with other family members, locally and those overseas. That first try of the final will be something that I’ll never forget in my life.”
30 Jul 2021 13:19
I’ll Never Forget My Son’s Try: Vuniani
From left: Former Olympic Games gold medallist Samisoni Viriviri with Vuniani Derenalagi at Nawaka Village in Nadi on July 29, 2021. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Former national sevens rep Vuniani Derenalagi, jumped off his seat when his son Meli Derenalagi scored the first try for Team Fiji men’s rugby sevens team in the Olympic Games gold medal final on Wednesday night.

That try paved the road for the Jerry Tuwai-captained side to run away with a 27-12 win over New Zealand.

Vuniani who was dubbed ‘White Shark’ during his playing days told SUNsports yesterday that the three-day of competition ended with the world’s two best sevens teams playing in the final.

“I will never forget my son’s try in the final,” Vuniani said.

“We thank the Lord for empowering Tu Meli and his team-mates to achieve this victory.

“When they (Fiji) win, our family is overjoyed as we all link up with other family members, locally and those overseas. That first try of the final will be something that I’ll never forget in my life.”

The Vanua o Nawaka in Nadi erupted into celebration immediately after the final.

Also, watching the final with the Derenalagi family was former Olympian, Samisoni Viriviri, who was a member of 2016 Rio Olympic gold medal winning team.

“I thank the boys for the victory as they did their share of hard work which enabled them to retain the gold medal in Tokyo,” said Viriviri.

Tui Nawaka Ratu Asaeli Driu was impressed with Derenalagi’s performance as he emulated former Nawaka reps who had made their names in the rugby world.

“Thank you Tumeli and congratulations to the team for the win,” he said.

Nadi Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Dr Ram Raju said: “Our gladiators deserve huge praise from the business community for elevating Fiji’s status on the world stage.”

Dr Raju also praised captain Tuwai for becoming the first Fijian athlete to win two Olympic Games gold medals.

“He (Tuwai) rightfully deserves special praise and rightfully all the other members who played brilliantly in ousting all other teams.

“Fiji can consider printing a special seven- dollar gold coins to commemorate this historical win in lieu of seven dollar notes that was done five years ago. This could help generate much-needed revenue,” he said. Edited by Sereana Salalo



Five Squares 4th Birthday


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Tower Insurance
FNPF App
Covid 19 - SPC
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper