GOLDEN SUCCESS

Dr Liviana Kaiwalu (left), and her ‘golden boy’ Malakai Kaiwalu at the ANZ Stadium in Suva. Photo: SUPPLIED

By LUKE NACEI

WINNING Gold at the Pacific Mini Games was all Malakai Kaiwalu wished for when he left for Vanuatu.

At Korman Stadium, the Vatulele native jumped 2.06 meters over the bar to see his wish come true as he bagged a gold medal to add onto Fiji’s tally.

“I am excited and over the moon with what I have achieved. I wanted to do much more than the height I jumped but it didn’t really happen. But winning that gold is enough for now,” Kaiwalu said.

“I was just thinking about the sacrifices I made towards my training and didn’t want it go to waste so I was aiming for that gold. I was also thinking of my mother and my whole family back in Fiji their prayers and support towards me,” he added.

The gold medal win to Kaiwalu was something to show his gratitude to his family for their endless support.

As he dedicated his win to his mother, Liviana Kaiwalu, who raised him single handedly after her marriage broke-up, emotional Kaiwalu said his grandmother also played her role in inspiring him.

“My grandmother was very inspirational as before I left the airport on Saturday, she told me to always put God first, have faith in myself that I could do it because it’s only through Him that I will be able to accomplish victory,” he added.

Kaiwalu’s sacrifice started at an early age in 2008 when he was a year 9 student.

He recalled how he had to live without a father figure in his life as his mum played both roles of being a mother and a father to him when his parents separated.

Emotional, he was still grateful that his father still gave him his blessings before he departed to hoist Fiji’s noble banner blue in Vanuatu.

“There were times when I had to ask my mother to give me money for my training gear and bus fare so this win is a happy moment for me as I try to erase those sad memories.

“I changed some of the techniques which helped me win the gold medal, after some coaching, I polished my running techniques and I am grateful to my coach for teaching me that.

“The win is for all my families in Suva and Ba for being there and supporting me; God played an important role in my life blessing me with the talent,” the former Xavier student said.

Meanwhile his win pushed Peniel Richard of Papua New Guinea and Mosese Foliaki to second and third places respectively.