ATHLETICS Fiji has commended veteran runner Binesh Kumar for winning Fiji first medal at an international masters event.
The 38-year-old won a bronze medal in the 5km race at the Oceania Masters Championship on Monday.
Acting president of Athletics Fiji Dr Ayoade Olatunbosun-Alakija said Kumar's achievement at the meet in Bendigo was truly commendable and a real message to all young athletes out there.
"I was with Binesh in Nadi just a month ago and he had reached a plateau in his training and was discouraged and wondering whether to go to Australia at all," she said.
"I encouraged him to not give up and told him that his participation alone would make Fiji proud and here he is with a bronze medal.
"We at AF are delighted and extremely proud of him. It also is a great beginning to the year in which we will be hosting the Oceania Cross Country Championships for the first time on Denarau Island."
Kumar is an official/athlete of the Jet Runners Club of Nadi and club president Abinesh Kumar said Bimlesh was only second behind two Australian runners.
"He will compete in the steeplechase event on Friday and the 8KM cross country race over the weekend so maybe he would win more medals," he said.