Masi’s Village Waits For His Return

“Masi delivered his promise by bringing the Olympic gold back to our beloved Fiji despite playing with a fractured finger.
30 Jul 2021 13:24
Masi’s Village Waits For His Return
Iosefo Masi’s family from L-R: Aqela Nukunawa, Vilomema Maria, Atonio Kawakawa, Tui Levuka in their village in Waitabu, Waikeli in Taveuni after Fiji’s win in one of the pool games. Photo: Tagimoucia Photography

The parents of Team Fiji men’s rugby sevens forward Iosefo Masi dedicated their time in fasting and praying for the players and officials at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.

And their prayers were answered with the 27-12 win over New Zealand in the gold medal final at the Tokyo Stadium on Wednesday night.

Masi, played with a fractured finger and was in the run-on team as he contested the restarts against seasoned campaigners like Tim Mikkelson and Scott Curry.

His father, Atonio Kawakawa told SUNsports yesterday that they all cried at the sound of the final whistle.

“We were overwhelmed with joy,” Kawakawa said.

“Masi delivered his promise by bringing the Olympic gold back to our beloved Fiji despite playing with a fractured finger.

“We thank (head coach) Gareth Baber for his selection as it was spot on and the boys did a remarkable job overall.

“And for choosing Masi to be one of the players in the first line-up, we were grateful as it has also lifted his performance.”

Masi will undergo immediate surgery on his finger as soon the team return.

Kawakawa said villagers came together to the village hall to watch all the games as there was no other TV screen.

He said the village came to life with celebration after the finals.

“We said a prayer of thanksgiving before the children took to the road to celebrate by beating pots and pans or anything they could get hold of.”

The father of three said as they are waiting for Masi to return home as they plan to celebrate the win with him.

“Masi and the boys have done us proud. Now we have young boys in the village who look up to him for his hard work and dedication, which saw him represent Fiji.”

The Waitabu native, from the district of Waikeli in Taveuni, Cakaudrove, was brought up in their family farm at Delaivuna, Taveuni with his two younger siblings..

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