‘Biggest’ Team Fiji

Robert Elder training in Sydney, Australia for the Commonwealth Games next month. Picture: SUPPLIED

FIJI will be sending one of its largest team to the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia next month.

Team Fiji is expected to take 144 athletes, officials and support staff.

It will have 45 male and 53 female athletes and 25 male and 10 female officials participating in 12 sports.

Led by chef de mission Patrick Bower, Team Fiji will participate in 12 sports including athletics, badminton, beach volleyball, boxing, lawn bowls, netball, rugby, shooting, squash, swimming, table tennis and weight-lifting.

Olympians Winston Hill (Boxing), Seremaia Tuwai (Rugby), Matelita Buadromo (Swimming), Sally Yee (Table Tennis) and Manueli Tulo (Weight-lifting) are expected to be part of Team Fiji.

Beach Volleyball will be making its debut at the 2018 Commonwealth Games after both the men’s team of Elliot Qilo and Inia Korowaqa and women’s team of Iliseva Ratudina and Laite Nima qualified during the 2017 Oceania qualifying tournament in Vanuatu.

Weight-lifting will also be sending its largest contingent after eight lifters qualified during the 2017 Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu.

Weight-lifter and Commonwealth Junior champion Eileen Cikamatana and Olympian Apolonia Vaivai are both ranked number one in the Commonwealth in their respective weight categories.

The team is expected to leave on March 30 and is expected to return on April 16.

Bower will be supported by general managers Christopher Yee and Ajay Ballu and Team Fiji administrator Fesaitu Mario.

The 2018 Commonwealth Games, officially known as the XXI Commonwealth Games and commonly known as Gold Coast 2018, is an international multi-sport event for members of the Commonwealth that will be held on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, between April 4 and 15.