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Fiji Time: 7:38 PM on Friday 25 April

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Koroitamana wants more focus on long distance

Arin Kumar
Friday, December 13, 2013

NATIONAL long-distance athletics coach Maciu Koroitama is aiming to increase the profile of long-distance running in the country.

The Athletics Fiji secretary returned from the United States last month where he completed three of the four modules of the International Coaching Enrichment Program (ICEP) as part of a scholarship offered by the International Olympic Committee.

He said part of the ICEP was working on a project in their own countries and he would concentrate on long-distance running because the runner to represent Fiji in a high profile event was Isireli Naikelekelevesi.

"That was at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and since then we have seen a decrease in numbers of athletes in the country," Koroitamana said.

"So my project will aim to increase participation in long-distance racing in the country.

"But it will have to be at grassroots, like reviving the sport. I will have to first give Athletics Fiji my proposal on how to go about with it."

He said Fiji had heaps of talent but harness and moulding that talent in the right way was the hard part.

"Mostly, athletes want to run sprints but there are long-distance runners in the country and there are those with the potential.

"But most of these athletes with potential are geographically challenged and to find them would be hard."

Koroitamana said that was where the Athletics Fiji competition comes into play.

"We are organising competitions now on a fortnightly basis and we are encouraging athletes to come forward and compete.

"Once we see them and their times and then we can find ways to help them attend training and become better athletes."

He commended the Jet Runners Club of Nadi for their work in reviving long-distance running in the Western Division.

"They have been organising competitions regularly and they have been getting good response.

"They have some very good runners and I would encourage their president Abinesh Kumar to send their athletes to Suva to run on the tracks. I would like to encourage other athletes out there who can run long distance to come and compete in Suva."