COVID-19: Kiribati para-athletes stranded in Fiji

Kiribati coach Karotu Bakae (left) along with his para-athletes Ongiou Timeon and Karae Tioti PHOTO SUPPLIED

Three para-athletes from Kiribati are stranded in Fiji for nearly three months due to the global impact of COVID-19.

The trio,  Ongiou Timeon and Karae Tioti and their coach Karotu Bakae, had flown down to Australia in February to attend the international classification at the Queensland State Championships.

They managed to reach Fiji as countries started going into a lockdown due to COVID-19.

“We left Australia on 6 March and were to stay in Fiji for 14 days to complete our quarantine before going back to our homes,” said coach Bakae.

“We were all glad to know that we would be able to see our families soon. But five days before we were set to fly, I saw a post from Fiji Airways informing all passengers that from 23 March, it would suspend all its international flights until further notice.”

The Oceania Paralympic Committee supported the three until April and the Kiribati Government, through its embassy in Fiji stepped up to assist us,” Bakae said.

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