Fiji swimmers qualify

THE Fiji swimming team hopes to improve its performance at the Commonwealth Games to attract more assistance from the Government and sponsors.

National coach and former Commonwealth Games and Olympics swimmer Sharon Smith said this after day two of competition at the Optus Aquatic Centre in Gold Coast, Australia.

“We have to improve in order to attract more Government help. We need help, but we are going to be silent with that and concentrate on improving our performance. We will talk in the pool in order to attract that help,” Smith said.

The mission was half accomplished yesterday after four of our swimmers qualified for the semi-final after the heats, which were held when this edition went to press.

Matelita Buadromo won her 50-metre freestyle heat 3 with a time of 27.19 seconds.

“All I wanted was to swim as fast as I could to qualify for the semi-final,” she said afterwards.

“The Commonwealth Games is special because it has a lot of champions, so I am blessed to be swimming against some of them.”

She has another event in the 50m butterfly today.

Meanwhile, Cheyenne Rova came seventh in her heat with a time of 27.08sec.

“It was hard competing against some of the best swimmers in the world. There is a lot of pressure and I just have to work hard,” she said.

Epeli Rabua Herbert and Taichi Vakasama also swam well in their heats.

Herbert finished fifth in the men’s 100m breaststroke heat clocking 1min 5.46sec. He had a reaction time (off the block) of 0.71sec but caught up to finish fifth to book a spot in the semi-final.Vakasama also booked a semi-final spot and will compete against Herbert in the semi-finals after he clocked 1min 4.25sec in his heat.

The men’s 100m breaststroke semi-final was held last night but was too late for this edition.

“Matelita won her heat and was a personal best. Cheynne is the second reserve into the semi-final and the boys did well to get another chance to swim.

“They swam against some world champions and it gave me the goosebumps to see them qualifying for the semi-final,” Smith said.

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