TAICHI FOR OCEANIA
Young Taichi Vakasama has qualified for the 2016 Oceania Swimming Champion- ship.
The 16-year-old from Daliconi village in Vanuabalavu, Lau told SUNsports yesterday that this was possible through hard work and was proud to represent his country again.
Taichi had previously represented Fiji at the 2014 Oceania Swimming Championship, Pacific Games and the Commonwealth Youth Games. “This year has been extremely difficult to train for the Open Nationals because of the effects of Tropical Cyclone Winston,” the Nadi swimmer said. “The pools were closed for two to three weeks and cleaning of the pool took a long time before I could use it to train.
“But to get to this point and qualify is a huge relief for me and also a huge reward because I have put so much time and effort into my preparations. “This has been one of my aims coming into this competition, I knew it would be hard from the start because there are so many talented swimmers but I’m thankful for the competition they gave me. “As a kid, I never dreamed that I would be this fast or even be considered to compete for my country, so I’m pretty proud of my achievements so far.
“I take my training so seriously, I do swim training six times a week and have two gym sessions per week as well; now I know for sure it has paid off.” The Swami Vivekananda College student has already set his goals for the Oceania Championship as he says, winning a medal and breaking records is all that matters.
“My aim this year is to at least get a few medals in the Oceania Championship, I know I will be competing with some of Oceania’s best swimmers and that is a challenge I am looking forward to,” he pointed out. “We cannot improve as an athlete if we are not challenged so I want to try to break the 200 metres breaststroke record. It’s the event I’m good at and also long distance freestyle. “I want to do my personal best and improve as a swimmer and take my performance up a notch, I know it will be hard but preparation starts from today. “I just want to thank my parents for giving me the most support and everyone who has been there and helped me be the swimmer I am today.” The Oceania Championship will be held in Suva from June 19-24. Edited by Leone Cabenatabua
Taichi had previously represented Fiji at the 2014 Oceania Swimming Championship, Pacific Games and the Commonwealth Youth Games.