Lifters to meet

FIJI Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) president Joseph Rodan says no other party can decide what is best for weight-lifting in Fiji.

This after the weight-lifters from Levuka decided not to train under Iranian coach Hossein Tavakoli after he was appointed last month.

The FASANOC convened a delegation which consisted of FASANOC vice-president Makarita Lenoa, Fiji Hockey Federation president Dr Robin Mitchell, Fiji Amateur Boxing Association president Manasa Baravilala and athletes representative Makelesi Batimala to hold talks with the weight-lifters and the Levuka officials.

“Through a traditional approach to the Tui Levuka and by his kind permission, the delegation was able to have a talanoa session with the athletes and officials who were given the opportunity to share their grievances openly,” Rodan said in a press release.

“The FASANOC delegation in turn, shared their own experiences and knowledge, how the structure of sports works in Fiji and the impact this conflict could have on the pathway of these high-performing athletes, particularly on those who had secured International Olympic Committee scholarships for Tokyo 2020.

Although the Levuka athletes and officials subsequently maintained their stance to continue their boycott of the Weightlifting Fiji team, as well as their refusal to train with the new international coach.

“However, the FASANOC delegation did leave with a positive note that the group was prepared to have a dialogue with the Weightlifting Fiji executive board, on condition that the meeting is chaired by an independent facilitator,” Rodan further said.

“FASANOC would like to stress that the resolution to this conflict can only come from the weight-lifting fraternity itself. No other party or parties have the power to decide on what is best for weight-lifting in Fiji.”

The meeting will be held today at the Fiji Olympic House in Suva.

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