SERUWAIA Malani is on the way to bigger things in life if what she achieved at the Pacific Mini Games yesterday is anything to go by.
The 20-year-old weightlifter from Baba in Ovalau scooped Fiji's first three gold medals at Kafika Stadium here on Ile Uvea Island.
Malani, who lifted 52kg in the snatch division, 63kg in the clean and jerk to amass a 114kg total in the 48kg category, said she knew from the day her name was announced that she was destined for the big stage.
"I knew it from the very beginning that I will win," she said. "I believed in myself from day one, the day I was told I will compete at the mini games."
"Since then I have worked so hard to get to this level and all that hard work has finally paid off."
With a personal best of 58kg in the snatch and 72kg in the clean and jerk, she faced a lot of pressure from her opponents.
"Those are my lifts during training but training is one thing and competing is another," she said.
"There is so much pressure and nervousness and butterflies that you can only do the best you can when you are up there in front of everyone.
"But I am so happy with the win and I would like to thank my family members and my coach Joe Vueti for their support and guidance."
Her closest opponent, Claudine Yu Hing of Tahiti, finished with a total of 110kg to settle for silver.
After her name was announced, Malani ran to hug her teammates and section manager Lilian Amasa.
She said she was overjoyed when the Tahitian lifter failed to lift 64kg in the clean and jerk division.
Amasa said Malani had the potential to win a scholarship to train at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute in New Caledonia where other champion Fijian lifters such as Manueli Tulo and Maria Liku are training.