In the build up to the 2022 Oceania Area Championships in Mackay, Australia this week, the FMF sponsored Athletics Fiji Team improved their season’s best performances in what athletics coaches like to call “A last hit out” over the weekend.
Leading things off was none other than Tavua native, Yeshnil Karan who clocked a new personal best of 3 minutes 58.41 seconds, to finish in third place in the 1500m, behind two New Zealanders, at the Pre-Oceania Championships Meet at Mackay on Saturday 4th June 2022. He improved by 9 seconds from his previous best.
This performance qualified him for the Commonwealth Games. Yeshnil is now 7th on Fiji’s all-time Ranking List for 1500m.
While he was in Fiji, with limited facilities in Tavua, Yeshnil’s training was focussed more on running volume. Since his arrival in Brisbane for a 3-month campaign, Yeshnil’s training program has been progressively changed to take a more balanced approach.
Over the past 10 weeks, his running volume was reduced and more emphasis was given to strengthening, conditioning, active recovery, flexibility and technique work. This variation has already shown very positive results in the early phase of his preparations for the Commonwealth Games. Yeshnil will be running in the 1500m on Tuesday and 5000m on Thursday at the Oceania Championships.
Upcoming long jumper and 18 year old Waisale Inoke jumped a new personal best of 6.87m in the open men’s long jump competition, claiming first place ahead of 26 year old Max Attwell of New Zealand who only managed a mere 6.71m.
Nakorosule, Naitasiri hillsman and former Grammar student Ratu Meli Ramukalou finished second in the 400m race, and was the best of Fiji’s 400m runners with a good time of 50.26 secs. Former St John Cawaci student, Nikola Raique was close behind with 50.46 secs, coming third in the race. 2018 Commonwealth Games rep Kameli Sauduadua who is re-gaining his form, was third with a time of 52.06 secs.
In a late start in the final of the men’s 100m, Banuve Tabakaucoro played catch up for the most part of his race. Nevertheless, he still clocked a season’s best and Commonwealth Games qualifying time of 10.65s. Banuve will be running both the 100m and the 200m at the Oceania Championships starting Tuesday. Fiji-based Byrce Chou from Taiwan, running in Fiji colours came second in his Section, clocking a time of 11.03 secs.
In the Women’s 400m event, 14-year-old Davuilevu Methodist High School student Torika Radovu finished 4th with a credible time of 62.27 seconds.
Her Waidracia, Naitasiri colleague, 17-year-old Vilimaina Naituku, started strongly chasing a quality New Zealand athlete but faded in the latter part of the race and finished her 1500m with a time of 5:43.19. 14-year-old Gold Coast based student Ezekiel Singh, clocked 27.56 seconds in the 200m, as part of his preparation for the 400m and the 800m at the Oceania Championships.
The team now set their sights towards the Oceania Athletics Championships 2022 which is set to begin on Tuesday 7th June 2022. The Championships will take a new and exciting format and will be the first Area Championships to be inclusive of all age groups and abilities. The Senior, U20 and U18 Championships will take place in their traditional format, with the Area Championships in 2022 an important steppingstone for athletes wanting to compete at World Championships in Eugene, Oregon USA.
Athletics Fiji wishes to thank FMF, Oceania Athletics Association, Fiji National Sports Commission, FASANOC, Commonwealth Games Federation, Griffith University, Striders Athletics Club, supporters and families for your support.
Story by: Athletics Fiji, 04/06/2022