Bowling experience to lift Fiji

Semesa Naiseruvati in action at the Nadi Sports and Social Club greens yesterday. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

Semesa Naiseruvati in action at the Nadi Sports and Social Club greens yesterday. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

THE national bowling team will be relying on experience in its bid to get into medal contention when the side participates in the Commonwealth Games in Australia next month.

Veteran Arun Kumar and Semesa Naiseruvati will spearhead the men’s team’s campaign while former world number three Litia Tikoisuva and Radhika Prasad will guide the women’s team.

Ironically Fiji’s best result at the Commonwealth Games was in 2002 in England where Tikoisuva and Radhika teamed up to win the bronze medal in the pairs discipline.

The national players held their final practice session at the Nadi Sports and Social Club greens yesterday.

Fiji men’s team manager Curtis Mar said they would depart next Wednesday to settle early and acclimatise to the green conditions on the Gold Coast.

“This was our last session just to get the players loosen up before we depart to play in different conditions,” Mar said.

“This time we have experience throughout the team. We only have a few bowlers who have played one or two international tournaments.

“The others have participated in many international tournaments. We have seen the pools but you have to win your games to get to the medal section regardless of who the opposition is. You cannot count any team as a minor threat. All games will be tough.”

The greens overseas have always been a major obstacle for the local players to overcome because the greens are much slower.

“We have heard that the greens that we will be playing on during the Commonwealth Games aren’t much faster,” Mar said. “It is about 15 seconds because it is relatively a newly laid pitch. If it is running at 15s, then it will be better for us.

“We will have a few days to practise on the greens before the competition proper starts on April 5.

“Everyone is looking forward to the trip and they have put in a lot of effort. The Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) organised a few psychological sessions which has been good for the players. We are prepared for what is ahead of us.”