OCEANIA WEIGHTLIFT­ING STARTS TO­DAY

Fiji Sun - - Sport: Business: - JUS­TINE MAN­NAN

Book­ing a spot at the Rio Olympics in Brazil means ev­ery­thing for Fiji as they take to the stage in the Oceania Weightlift­ing Cham­pi­onships to­day at the Voda­fone Arena, Suva.

Fiji Weightlift­ing head coach Joe Vueti said like ev­ery other coun­try, qual­i­fy­ing for Rio is the only goal they have set and is con­fi­dent his lifters will achieve that goal. “Qual­i­fy­ing for the Olympics is ev­ery­thing to us and more be­cause it is the most im­por­tant event hap­pen­ing this year,” Vueti said. “For us, we are not wor­ried about win­ning gold medals; the main fo­cus is do­ing our best on the day ev­ery­day to make sure we make that fi­nal cut.

“All the coun­tries are well pre­pared, we have the big guns like Aus­tralia, New Zealand and Samoa and for sure Fiji will give them a good run for their money. “But we are con­fi­dent that we will qual­ify two ath­letes for the Rio Olympics.”

With the first day of com­pe­ti­tions start­ing to­day, Vueti said they were tak­ing each day as it comes and tar­get­ing to do well.

“It’s go­ing to be big, es­pe­cially for our ath­letes and we are look­ing for­ward to the cham­pi­onships,” he

said. “We are con­fi­dent we are go­ing to start well to­mor­row (to­day) and our tar­get is for us to do well and scoop­ing a cou­ple of gold medals on the first day. “I’m re­ally sur­prised with most of the ath­letes, in the last cou­ple of train­ing ses­sions they were not re­ally well pre­pared but now ev­ery­thing has come to­gether, ev­ery­one is fo­cused and more fired up for the cham­pi­onships.” Vueti thanked the spon­sors who have been sup­port­ing the ath­letes and have urged the pub­lic to show up in num­bers to sup­port the team.

Photo: Paulini Rat­u­lailai

Manueli Tulo trains with the Fiji team at the Na­tional Fit­ness Cen­tre yes­ter­day.

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