Pacific Games | SPORTS

Francis: I’ll Give My Best For Fiji

Suva Grammar School Year 13 student, Kaiava Francis, is hopeful of making the country proud at the Pacific Mini Games in Saipan on June 17-25.
13 Jun 2022 17:00
Francis: I’ll Give My Best For Fiji
From left: Sereima Lalanavanua, athletics rep Kaiava Francis, tennis rep Josephine Debalevu at Nadi International Airport on June 12, 2022. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Suva Grammar School Year 13 student, Kaiava Francis, is hopeful of making the country proud at the Pacific Mini Games in Saipan on June 17-25.

He was among the Team Fiji contingent that flew out of Nadi International Airport on a chartered Fiji Air­ways flight yesterday.

Francis hails from the village of Wailevu in Macuata and will participate in the high jump competition.

He also represented Fiji in a Handball competition is New Caledonia in 2019.

The 19-year-old’s family is not new to taking part in competitive sports as his parents Elwood and Senimelia have represented Fiji in indoor and beach volleyball.

“This is my first time to represent Fiji in athletics but I’ve represented Grammar at the Coke Games where I won gold in the intermediate comp,” Kaiava said.

“My mum and dad have represented Fiji in volleyball.”

Kaiava’s mum Senimelia partnered with Mereula Meo to win gold at the 1999 Pacific Games in women’s beach volleyball competition in Guam.

Team Fiji golf at Nadi International Airport on June 12, 2022. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Team Fiji golf at Nadi International Airport on June 12, 2022. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

He added that he wants to better his personal best (PB) of 2.01 metres.

“I will try to break or beat my PB and make it 2.03m or 2.05m. I’m nervous about representing Fiji in athletics for the first time.”

One of his maternal aunts is Salome Ledua, a former volleyball rep whose daughter Josephine Debalevu, is part of the tennis team.

Debalevu, a Sangam Sadhu Kuppuswamy Memorial College (SSKMC) Year 10 student is determined to do well.

The 15-year-old has represented Fiji before and has been playing tennis since she was eight-years-old.

“I am giving my best. My parents have been supporting me in this and my aim is to make Fiji proud,” the Vuna­niu, Serua native said.

Debalevu lost to Fiji’s number one ranked Tarani Ka­moe in the Tattslotto Fiji Open 2022 women’s singles last month and is eager to learn from it.

FMF Athletics Fiji national coach Albert Miller said their preparations went as expected and he hopes to get in medals.

“We had a team that went to the Oceania Champion­ship. So it was a shame that we could get the chance to take the whole team to get a good competition but that’s the way it is.

“I think the athletes are looking forward to competing in this and seeing how they will do.

“Shawntel Lockington, is among the top medal con­tenders as is the reigning high jump champion for wom­en.

“Everybody else is pretty much very new. We have Tony Lemeki who was a gold medallist for the 4x100m relay team in Samoa. He will run in the 100m and 4x100m,” Miller said.

“I think our 4x100m and 4x400m for the men’s have a good chance of winning medals. Unfortunately, we don’t have many women to make the numbers.”

Feedback: waisean@fijisun.com.fj



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