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Three for Glasgow

Arin Kumar
Sunday, March 30, 2014

THREE athletes have already qualified for the Commonwealth Games that will be held in August in Glasgow, Scotland.

Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) president Reg Sanday confirmed Leslie Copeland (athletics), Josateki Naulu (judo) and Apolonia Vaivai (weightlifting) for the event.

"All are on FASANOC High Performance scholarships and automatically qualify under our criteria," he said.

Naulu is currently training and working in Japan while Vaivai is training at the Oceanic Weightlifting Centre in Noumea, New Caledonia.

Sanday said he tabled a draft selection criteria during their AGM on Wednesday that would be studied by national federations before they give their feedback.

"The criteria essentially raises the bar. We will not be taking athletes for developmental reasons who really should be targeting the Pacific Games in Port Moresby next year.

"Only those ranked in Oceania and in the Commonwealth will be selected.

"While the following sports are eligible for the Commonwealth Games — swimming, badminton, cycling, judo, lawn bowls, shooting, squash, table tennis, triathlon, weightlifting, powerlifting and athletics — realistically we may be looking at only seven sports which may be able to meet the criteria."

Sanday said Fiji's contingent to the event may be fewer than 20 since teams sports like sevens rugby and netball were out.

"Numerical entries closed the day before Fiji was invited back into the Games, so we have contacted the organisers to ask for new timelines for Fiji.

"Once these have been determined we will work backwards in terms of setting our own deadlines.

"Sports that need to hold trials will be asked to hold them early, like in April, so that we do not miss our deadlines."

Sanday said representatives from rugby - Sale Sorovaki - and netball - Wainikiti Bogidrau - expressed their disappointments at their exclusion from the Commonwealth Games during the FASANOC AGM.

"They were thankful for the support from FASANOC and other sporting federations to their exclusion, but they have come to accept that they cannot go to Glasgow but they did not wish to deprive other sports from taking part."

Meanwhile, FASANOC is narrowing down its search for experienced people to serve as chef de mission and administrator.

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