Perfect buildup to Youth Olympic

TEAM Fiji’s presence at the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas has been a great platform to build up to the 2018 Youth Olympics in Argentina, says chef de mission Tomasi Tiko.

The contingent arrived home yesterday morning, recording good performances in swimming and rugby among others.

According to Tiko, the experience was also a great one for budding athletes who had their first taste of international competition.

“I think the experience was a memorable one especially for the youths as many of them are travelling for the first time,” he said.

“A few of them have travelled to some of the regional events but a world stage like the Commonwealth Games, this has been the first time.

“Overall in terms of achievement, I think we’ve probably played above our weight because if you look at the achievement in terms of progress from the previous games and how you can measure yourself, swimming broke about six national records and set about eight personal best so if you look at the progress, they’ve improving their own standards.”

One of the most inspirational stories for the team came from the men’s rugby 7s squad, who won bronze at the games this year.

“The rugby men’s team didn’t win anything in the past games. They won bronze in this games so that’s progress.

“For athletics, two of the athletes set personal best in their races so if you look at it, overall a lot of them have set personal best. A lot of them won medals they didn’t win previously so I would say this has been a successful outing for the team.”

The Commonwealth Youth Games has also been cited as the best stepping stone in the buildup to the Youth Olympics, which Tiko said would be another international platform that would benefit local talent.

“This is probably been the first outing for many so a lot of them would need this level of competition. Our tennis players fared well against good opposition.

“It augurs well for next year’s Youth Olympics in Argentina as well.”

He said development of sport was something that continued with the various sporting federations in the country.

“That’s something we’ve been having as management and coaches in each of the sport have submitted their reports as well to their various national federations as well.”

The team is expected to have a thanksgiving this week to convey their appreciation to families, friends and well-wishers for their support. Fiji was ranked 22 after the games ended.

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