Swimming duo for Japan study stint

Swimmers, Epeli Rabua and Matelita Buadromo at the Damodar Aquatic Centre in Laucala Bay, Suva on Monday, April 22, 2019. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

FIJI Swimming accomplished a milestone achievement towards development and productivity when two of its swimmers had been offered Olympic Scholarships for Tokyo 2020.

Local and regional champions Matelita Buadromo and Epeli Rabua were given the opportunity to study and train in Japan prior to the 2020 Olympics.

Buadromo said the scholarship had opened a new level of preparation and she’s focused on training to the best of her ability and do well in upcoming events.

“I’m very fortunate to receive this scholarship,” she said.

“With its funding, it helps us expose to many other opportunities out there overseas and helps us experience high level training and competitions.

“For me, I’m very lucky to be here this long and to be offered this scholarship next year, I’m looking forward to qualify for Tokyo next year.”

Meanwhile, with three weightlifting recipients no longer available, the scholarships were cancelled and the opportunity was available for additional recipients and one of the athletes that met the criteria was Epeli Rabua of Fiji Swimming.

Rabua’s fine performances at the 2018 Commonwealth Games making two semi-finals plus winning gold and bronze at the Oceania Championship last year gave him an edge over other applicants.

“It is a privilege to be selected as a recipient for the scholarship,” he said.

“I’m really blessed because as an athlete we all dream of making it to the Olympics and to have the funding that helps you prepare yourself for the Olympics is just a boost and I’m grateful to be given this opportunity.”

The International Olympics Committee commenced in 2017 with Fiji initially awarded with seven opportunites.

Meanwhile, Buadromo scooped 10 gold medals for team Rotuma in the individual events and two silver and a bronze in the relay while Rabua achieved three gold and three silver in the individual events and two silver and a bronze in the relays for the Fiji Games swimming competition.

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