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Tabakaucoro wins top award

Rashneel Kumar
Sunday, February 23, 2014

WINNING has become traditional for Banuve Tabakaucoro.

It's nothing new for the 21-year-old Bau bullet — and in every win, he is able to find a reason to celebrate.

The Pacific sprint king was named the 2013 Sportsman of the Year during the Fiji Sports Awards on Friday night at the Vodafone Arena.

He rated his first Sportsman of the Year award along with his record-breaking feat at regional events.

Tabakaucoro broke the 100 metres and 200 metres records at the Pacific Mini Games in Wallis and Futuna last year.

The judges took into consideration that historic win along with his achievements at international events last year.

The former Marist Brothers High School student overcame tough challenges in the category, which included guest speaker Petero Civoniceva, to bag the important win.

"This is very different. Sports awards combine all the other federations and competing with them, the best of the best and to come out on top is very humbling," Tabakaucoro said.

"I take my hat off to all the other sporting federations for nominating their athletes, they are the best.

"This award, I believe, belongs to each and every one of us. The only difference is that I'm keeping it at my house.

"Everybody (at home) is very happy. They have contributed a lot to my success in athletics. My coach Bola Tafo'ou has contributed a lot to my success over the years so I thank him as well for taking time out for me."

Receiving the prestigious award from the legendary Civoniceva, Tabakaucoro said it was an inspiration itself.

He said the award had pushed him to "work even harder because wins like this, they don't come very often".

"They (Civoniceva and the likes) are our heroes, we watch them while growing up and hopefully one day we can be like them."

As for now, Tabakaucoro is looking forward to the season and raring to take his performance a notch up.

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