Veitaqomaki sets a personal best time

Petero Veitaqomaki in action in the men's 800m heats. He finished 8th with a time of 1min 54.22sec. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

PETERO Veitaqomaki attained a personal best time in the men’s 800 metres heat two in the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Carrara Stadium in Gold Coast, Australia.

He clocked a time of 1min 54.22sec finishing eighth in his race.

Veitaqomaki, 17, has been likened to former national long-distance runner Sireli Naikelekelevesi by many.

“It was a very challenging race for me,” he said after the race.

“I did my best and tried to keep up with the other runners in the competition.

“It was a good experience for me and a dream come true to run at the Commonwealth Games. I have been preparing for today (yesterday) for so many months and I am happy that I attained my personal best.”

The Lavena, Taveuni native had been running every afternoon to improve his time and monitors his diet every day.

He is being coached by Nemani Tukunia.

“Sireli (Naikelekelevesi) is my inspiration and people are saying that I run like him,” he said.

“I am working hard to be like him and win races for Fiji and the people.

“I want to make people proud. I have been running every morning and we go according to our schedules. I am honoured to run on tracks for Fiji.”

Meanwhile, Nijel Amos of Botswana came first with a time of 1min 45min 12sec while Australia’s Luke Mathews came second with a time of 1min 46.53sec and Cornelius Tuwei of Kenya came third.