Team Fiji departs

Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s team at Nadi International Airport yesterday. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s team at Nadi International Airport yesterday. Picture: REINAL CHAND

TEAM Fiji departed for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia yesterday with high hopes of doing the country proud.

Fiji has won a total of three gold, four silver and seven bronze medals at the Commonwealth Games which was previously known as the British Empire Games.

Deputy chef de mission Christopher Yee said the preparation period was all over now.

Yee said it was time to go and do what all the participants had trained for.

“The participants are ready,” he said.

“There are many young and first-timers who are travelling and they are all excited. They are champions in themselves just representing the country.

“They have done well locally and will go and showcase their talents. Hopefully they will come up with their personal best.

“We are sending the best athletes across and we will be competing with the best in the world. We are not counting our chickens before they hatch.”

Mataika Tuicakau from Tovu Village on Totoya Island in the Lau Group won Fiji’s first ever gold medal in the 1950 competition. He was the first Fijian to have success internationally in athletics winning the shot put and finishing as the runner-up in the discus throw in the Commonwealth Games in New Zealand.

“We are hoping for very good performances,” Yee said.

“I think we are there for some medals. The rugby team has been playing well. That will be an elusive gold medal, but I know that they will be putting a strong team. Virtually all the teams are going there to win medals.

“The sports that will be on the show are shooting, bowling and weight lifting. There could be surprises.

“We have more than 120 athletes who are going straight to the Games Village. The men’s rugby team will join us later from Hong Kong.”

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