SPORTS

Sports Ground To Be Named After First woman Olympian

“I am honoured, I am now a French citizen through my husband and to have the embassy (French) and Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) considering me for the project, is humbling,” 70-year-old Chambault said from Paris.
07 Nov 2022 12:23
Sports Ground To Be Named After First woman Olympian
Tuisorisori sisters Sainimere Rauqeuqe (left) and Miriama Kadavu Chambault. Photo: Josifini Bainivalu

The number 46 is an important number in the Bible. The number 46 is also the number of days between the two testaments-  the Old and New Testaments.

For Fiji’s first woman Olympian, Miriama Kadavu Tuisorisori Chambault the number is significant as it is 46 years after she first represented Fiji at the Olympics . Now a sports ground will be named after her.

This is part of the French government’s build-up to the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad, Paris 2024, scheduled from July 26 to August 11, 2024.

 

“I am honoured, I am now a French citizen through my husband and to have the embassy (French) and Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) considering me for the project, is humbling,” 70-year-old Chambault said from Paris.

“It is a priviledge to be remembered as the first Olympian of my beautiful country and what a way to be acknowledged as part of build up to the next Olympic which will be held here.”

The sports ground located outside Suva will be unveiled on Thursday, November 11, 2022.

 

Originally from Nalebaleba, Bemana, Nadroga, Chambault is the fourth child of the late Arieta Nai and Vilitati Tuisorisori of the mataqali Haqila.

The five siblings are Sakaia Tawake , Sainimere, Vilimaina, Miriama and Marika. Marika is Fijian Wallaby Marika Nawaqanitawase’s names sake and paternal grandfather.

Swire Shipping Fijian Drua forward Jone Koroiduadua and Nawaqanitawase’s paternal great grandfathers are cousins.

 

The former Cuvu Methodist Secondary School student studied in New Zealand after passing her Fiji Junior Certificate and became the New Zealand schools girls 100m hurdles champion clocking 12.8 seconds in 1971.

The following year she was invited to represent New Zealand to the Munich Games but she turned it down because she had exams to sit.

“If I had accepted I would have been one of the few to have represented three countries in athletics,” she said.

 

At the 1976 Summer Olympics at Montreal, Canada, Chambault as the only female athlete was the flagbearer and captain.

The other athlete was Tony Moore Junior.

The Olympics was opened by the late Queen Elizabeth II; 6084 athletes (4824 men, 1260 women) and 92 nations took part in the 16-day international multi-sport event.

 

Chambault competed in the long jump and pentathlon.

She jumped 5.79 metres and was placed 27th.

Her pentathlon events were: 200m (24.89sec), 100ms hurdles (14.78sec), high jump (1.55m) and shot put (9.38m).

She was placed 18th with 3827 points

 

Her second Olympic appearance was in 1984 at the Los Angeles Olympic Games.

She ran in the 100m (13.04sec) and 200m (26.82sec) heats.

She failed to advance.

But at the South Pacific Games she was in dominant form.

 

Her first SPG at the 1969 Port Moresby Games where she won gold in the long jump with a jump of 5.24m.

 

At the 4th SPG in 1971 in Tahiti, she won gold in the 4 × 100m relay with a time of 49.4sec and in the pentathlon with 3389 points, silver in the 200m with a time of 25.8sec and a bronze in the 100 meters hurdles with a time of 15.4sec and long jump with a jump of 5.36 metres.

 

In Guam for the 1975 Games she won gold in the 200metres final with a time of 25.74, long jump with a jump of 5.61m; silver in the 100m hurdles with a time of 15.04sec, pentathlon with 3673 points and the 4 × 100 relay with a time of 49.82sec.

 

In the 1979 Games in Suva she represented New Caledonia as her husband is from there.

She bagged two silver – (pentathlon on 3323 points and 100m in 12.37 sec) and two gold medals (100m hurdles in 14.80sec and long jump 5.61m).

 

She again represented New Caledonia at the 1983 Apia Games, winning won gold in the 100m (12.39sec), silver the 100m hurdles (15.13sec), long jump (5.42 metres), and bronze in the 4 × 100m relay (49.80sec).

 

In summary Chambault had hauled more than 50 medals in the 14 years she represented Fiji and New Caledonia at the SPG from 1969 to 1983.

“You have to be dedicated, honest and hardworking to achieve the results you want.

“I am a very proud Fijian woman, that at any time Fiji needs me to do something for them I am always ready.

“Whenever a Fijian team comes to France, I am always there to give my support.

“Representing Fiji has been one of the highest calls in my life, I treasure the times I have represented Fiji and holding that beautiful flag high.”

 

In 2000 she was an Olympic Games torch relay runner and only Fijian in the Cooks; this was due to the coup that year – Fiji was crossed off the Olympic torch relay.

She was a volunteer in the Sydney Olympics as a track and field official and has been one since.

She is a member of the World Olympic Association.

 

She is also a World Rugby sevens and 15s volunteer based in France apart from being a RWC volunteer leading to the 2023 WC to be held in France from September 8 to October 28 in nine venues there.

Tri-linguist Chambault a former French civil servant now living in Paris is now a humanitarian volunteer focussing on the Russia/Ukraine war.

She was inducted into the Fijian Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.

 

Feedback: karalaini.waqanidrola@fijisun.com.fj



Got A News Tip


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.


WEET BIX
For All Fiji Sun Advertising
Fijisun E-edition
Subscribe-to-Newspaper