Fiji to send big team

THE stage is set for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia with team Fiji set to field one of its biggest contingents ever.

At this year’s games Fiji will participate in 12 sports such as weight-lifting, badminton, beach volleyball, boxing, lawn bowls, netball, shooting, swimming, athletics, shooting, squash and rugby 7s – (men’s and women’s) .

The 12 sports will be made up of 144 athletes, officials and support staff as the Commonwealth Games will be held from April 4 to 15.

Fiji made its first appearance at the 1938 British Empire games which later became the CWG. Fiji has participated in 15 CWG games event and had missed out on three due to suspension.

Looking at the medal tally Fiji has won a total of 15 medals in the history of the games.

Fiji has won three gold, 4 silver and 8 bronze medals.

Medal breakdown

1938 – (No medals) – Sydney

1950- (five- medals – one gold, two silver, two bronze)- Auckland

Mataika Tuicaka won Fiji’s first gold medal at the 1950 games. He won the men’s shot-put event and later also bagged a silver medal in discus.

Luke Tunabuna won a silver medal in javelin while the bowling won 2 bronzes medals. In the men’s double bowls event Leslie Brown and James Poulton claimed a bronze and Lionel F. Garnett in the men’s singles event.

1954- (No medals) – Vancouver

1958 – (No medals) – Cardiff

1962 – (two bronze medals) – Perth

Fiji ended their eight year drought with boxing bagging two bronze medals in Perth. Moses Evans in the 75kg and Holgar Johansen in the 91kg finished third in their events to secure medals.

1966 – (No medals) – Kingston

1970 (1 bronze) – Edinburgh

Saimoni Tamani won a bronze medal in the 400m athletics event that marked Fiji’s eight medal at the CWG.

1974 (No medals) – Christchurch

1978 (No medals) – Edmonton

1982 (one gold) – Brisbane

In 1982 boxing took top honours with a gold medal in the 81kg by Fine Sani. This was Fiji’s second gold medal.

1986 (No medals) – Edinburgh

1990, 1994 – Fiji did not attend the games

1998 (one silver) – Kuala Lumpur

After a bleak period, Fiji made its return in 1998 and what made the games special especially for the country was the introduction of 7s rugby at the games. With high hopes placed on the shoulders of the ruggers, 7s managed a silver medal after a loss to New Zealand in the final.

2002 (3 medals- one gold, one silver and one bronze) Manchester

The 2002 games were one of the best performances by Team Fiji in the modern era winning three medals. Judo made the headlines as Naca Takayawa won gold in the men’s over 100kg event and female participant Sisilia Nasiga won a bronze medal.

The Fiji 7s team once again settled for silver.

2006 – (one bronze ) Melbourne

In 2006 in Melbourne, Fiji managed only one bronze medal. That was by the Fiji 7s team.

2010- (Suspended) – New Delhi

2014 – (one bronze)- Glasgow

After missing out on the 2010 games Fiji made its return in 2014. Due to the late approval of Fiji’s participation 7s rugby was not given an opportunity despite numerous calls.

Weight-lifting won its first CWG medal when Apolonia Vaivai bagged a bronze medal in the 75kg event.

2018- Melbourne

With team Fiji fielding a big contingent, hopes are high for the best ever outing. Fiji 7s rugby men’s and weight-lifting are the top two medal contenders for the country. The introduction of women’s rugby should create interest.

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