4 April, 2018, 12:00 am
TEAM Fiji members could be in for a surprises red carpet treat if they excel at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in the next fortnight.
While the Fiji Government is known to spring surprises to thank Fijian sports personalities and teams for their victories, Minister for Sports Laisenia Tuitubou told the media in Nadi, Fiji, last week that no solid plan was in line to throw a party for Team Fiji if it triumphs after the Gold Coast outing.
But, he revealed there’s possibility if Team Fiji succeeds like the feat in the gold medal rugby 7s win in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
“I won’t say at this moment,” Tuitubou replied when asked during the sports ministers’ conference meeting in Nadi last week.
“But like what we have experienced before, Government will come up with the incentive after the result of the competition.
“Like we had the rugby awards recently, our national 7s team got $25,000 for winning the Hamilton 7s and Vancouver 7s and $10,000 for reaching the quarter-finals of the Las Vegas 7s.
“The sponsors and Government came up with the incentives after the results of the games, so nothing is determined as yet.”
Team Fiji, meanwhile, has settled well at the Commonwealth Games Village here at the Gold Coast in Australia after leaving home last Friday morning.
Our national contingent comprises 96 athletes.
That has opened more medal winning chances and Fiji’s best bet at gold medal wins are the Gareth Baber-coached Fiji 7s team and weight-lifters, Eileen Cikamatana, Apolonia Vaivai, and Manueli Tulo, who could be a wild card prospect.
Fiji, since 1950, has won three gold medals at the Commonwealth Games. They are from Mataika Tuicakau: shot put (1950), Sani Fine: boxing (1982) and Nacanieli Qerewaqa Takayawa: judo (2002).
The 2018 Commonwealth Games start today and end on April 15.