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Rocked by critics

Pravin Narain
Thursday, November 30, 2017

HE has a heart of a lion.

Although he may be competing in para-athletics in the 2017 Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu next month, Iosefo Malakai Rakesa has a lot to prove in the games.

He has been subjected to criticisims and the stigma that surrounds people like him who live with disability.

And sadly he been fighting this every minute of his life when people look down on him and pass comments because of his disability.

Yet, he is a national sports rep and he will be among our heroes flying Fiji's flag high in Vanuatu.

Some able-bodied persons who are his critics cannot cannot reach that stage in sports.

"Despite what I go through daily, I continue to prepare well for the Pacific Mini Games," he said.

"I thank the Lord for giving me the strength to overcome all the challenges so that I can serve my country well.

"It is my first year in the sport. In this short time I have represented Fiji in the Oceania Athletics Championship earlier this year. I will try my best to get a gold medal for Team Fiji in Port Vila."

Rakesa will compete in the javelin throw in the second week of the Pacific Mini Games.

"It would not matter if I win or lose, as long as I do my best and try to win something for the country," he said.

"There are some people who talk bad about me, but it does not bother me because criticisims strengthen me to do me well. Everyone has good and bad supporters.

"I am proud to represent my country and that is all that matters to me.

"My message to all those people who talk bad about para-athletes is not to underestimate us, but support us please.

"I thank those who have been supporting me."

The Pacific Mini Games will be held from December 4-15.








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