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Medal hopes

Shayal Devi
Thursday, September 14, 2017

WEIGHT-LIFTERS Eileen Cikamatana, Apolonia Vaivai and Manueli Tulo are among the medal contenders in Team Fiji that departed Nadi International Airport yesterday for the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

Team Fiji chef de mission Sale Sorovaki said the 41-member contingent had prepared well for the games.

"For us, everything has been done and we are represented in weight-lifting, swimming, tennis and athletics.

"It's probably going to be stronger than the Pacific Games. This will be a buildup to the Mini Pacific Games, so the competition will be very strong. We will have the best of Asia such as China, Japan and other countries.

"The weight-lifting team will have a strong challenge and they have won medals previously, so this competition will be good for them."

Sorovaki said the tennis players had prepared well in Lautoka and the games would be a stepping stone for young athletes.

"Swimming, under the guidance of former Olympian Sharon Smith, is looking good.

"Taichi Vakasama, who won bronze at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas this year will be top bet."

Athletics will have sprinters Aaron Powell and Braelynn Yee and long-distance runner, Avikash Lal.

The contingent was farewelled by family members, friends and well-wishers yesterday.

The games start on Sunday and end on September 27.

Team Fiji: Athletics: Mustafa Fall, Samuela Railoa, Aaron Powell, Avikash Lal, Errol Qaqa, Elenani Tinai, Serenia Ragatu, Makereta Naulu, Braelynn Yee, Mereoni Bonasere. Manager: Koon Hoong Yee. Coach: Sereseini Lala. Swimming: Epeli Rabua, Eugene Kado, Taichi Vakasama, Netani Ross, Matelita Buadromo, Kinisimere Naivalu. Manager/Coach: Sharon Smith. Tennis: Conway Beg, Raynal Singh, Antonio O'Connell, Ruby Coffin, Vienna Kumar. Manager/Coach: Robert Krause. Weightlifting: Patrick Veidrayaki, Timothy Vakuruivalu, Manueli Tulo, Arieta Mudunavoce, Maria Mareta, Apolonia Vaivai, Eileen Cikamatana. Manager/Coach: Josefa Vueti.

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