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Fiji Time: 11:31 AM on Wednesday 17 September

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Copeland looks to Rio

Emoni Narawa
Thursday, April 04, 2013

FIJI'S javelin star Leslie Copeland has set his sights on the 2016 Olympic Games.

And his journey to the Rio de Janeiro Games starts today as he flies out to compete at the Melbourne Classic this weekend. He later travels to Sydney to take part in the Australian Championship on April 12-14.

His campaign was boosted after receiving a budget of $10,000 from the Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) through the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Solidarity program.

Copeland, a Fiji Olympic representative is hoping that he would get better as he starts his four-year journey to the much anticipated Games in Rio.

"I am looking forward to the competitions in Melbourne and Sydney. This is only the start of the season so I am not expecting much from here. Rio is still far away but the preparation starts now," Copeland said.

"It is a challenge for me to train on grass because I will be competing on tracks in Melbourne," Copeland said.

His coach James Goulding acknowledged FASANOC for their support. Copeland is the first athlete to benefit from the Olympic Solidarity program.

FASANOC president Reg Sanday said they were pleased to support Leslie.

"A budget of about $10,000 has been set aside for our elite athletes who are capable of representing the nationa at the Olympics. Leslie is the first athlete to benefit from this and we wish him all the best," Sanday said.

Copeland is eyeing a throw of 83metres before the Rio Games.

"My target is Rio, I want to throw consistently over 83, 84 or 85. Anything over 83m is a bonus for me before Rio," the former Marist Brothers High School student said.

He added the Melbourne and Sydney competitions would be tough.