Day five provided joy for the Fijian team
The Men’s 50m Freestyle saw teammates William Clark and Meli Malani pitted against each other in heat six. Both swimmers beat their qualifying times by 0.75 seconds and 0.06 seconds respectively. Clark finished third in the heat with a time of 23.91 seconds just ahead of Malani who managed a time of 23.98 seconds.
Clark, however, was dissatisfied with his performance explaining his aim was to achieve a much quicker time. On the other hand, he admitted that the competition had given him a “big confidence boost” and enjoyed the opportunity to be surrounded by world class swimmers.
Also swimming were Cheyenne Rova and Tieri Erasito. Rova recorded a comfortable time of 32.26 in the Women’s 50m Backstroke, not quite enough to progress into the next stage. Erasito competed in the Women’s 200m Butterfly, beating her qualifying time of 2:29.09 with a quicker 2:28.08. However, she criticised her own performance as “horrible”.
The races came so quickly one-after-another that she felt she did not have an ideal amount of time to recover. It was, an impressive competition for the 19-year-old and shows hope for the future.
The performance of the day came from the experienced Caroline Puamau. Despite finishing sixth in heat five, of the Women’s 50m Backstroke, a time of 30.73 seconds was enough to grab 13th place and with it a spot in the semi-finals! Puamau was overwhelmed.
“It took time to adapt” reflecting on a disappointing race earlier in the week, but “it felt great” she beamed. “It’s my last Commonwealth Games so I’ve nothing to lose”. This fresh and completely gung-ho approach could inspire the 34-year-old snatch a place in the final.
The semi-final itself was the end of the road, however, as Puamau put in a sterling effort to claim twelfth overall with a time of 30.46. It was clear to see the relief in her face that it was all over. The amount of effort exerted had sapped all remaining energy from her. Still breathing hard “I’m proud…for FIji” she uttered.
On the future of Fijian swimming, Puamau was optimistic. “For their age they are ahead…they have a great chance”. When asked about her own future she stated that was her last race. “When I’m back (in Fiji) I want to focus on promoting the sport in schools”. With the guidance of such an experienced swimmer, there is great promise for future competitions.
The Men’s Trap Shooting qualification started at the Barry Buddon Shooting Centre featuring Glenn Kable. The Sydney-born solicitor set a total of 44 points, after Day One, leaving him only 6 points behind the leader going into Day Two. One to watch.
In the Lawn Bowls, the Men’s Fours were overcome 13-7 by Wales, in section D, moving them to third. However, there are still two games to play against Niue and, table toppers, Scotland, leaving them still in the hunt for qualification out of the group.
The Women’s Triples started brightly for the Pacific Islanders with a narrow 17-16 victory over Canada, to leave them alongside New Zealand and the Cook Islands at the top, with three points. Fijian Litia Tikoisuva stated; “It was anybody’s game, really, until we got to the last end. They could have got a three and we were trying to cover. Everybody played well, the Canadian team as well. We were down in the beginning of the game, 6-2, but our girls managed to get it back. Canada were trying to attack and I think that worked to our advantage”. When asked about the disappoint suffered earlier on in the competition, she said, ““Our (women’s) fours team lost in the quarter-finals and now we are trying our best in the pairs and triples. We would be happy with any medal or to move up to number four or five. To take a medal is our aim”….PACNEWS
By Mike from The Reporters’ Academy