Caption: Fiji Va’a Team 1500m V6 Bronze PMG Wallis 2013
Va’a Team Fiji completed a successful campaign today with another Bronze medal in the V6 mens 30km marathon. The team was made up of Ben Wilson, Joji Wong, Marika Cakaulevu, Paul Yaqona, Johnny Chung, and Kelekele Lausi.
Overall the performance of Fiji Va’a at the Wallis and Futuna PMG has been a strong one with four bronze medals collected, an improvement on the team’s performance at the SPG in new Caledonia in 2011 despite the contingent of athletes being smaller (only 7 men and 2 women). Tahiti again dominated Va’a taking gold in all the events, while the host Wallis and Futuna also featured on the podium in every event.
All the hard work for the Fiji team started to pay off from day one with the Men’s Team winning a Bronze in the V6 1500m Sprint. The guys were unlucky not to repeat the feat in the V6 500m, missing out on Bronze by less than 1 second to PNG.
On day 2 in the V1 500m Sprints Ben Wilson of Taf’aga Outrigger Canoe Club (Suva) came in third to claim the bronze for Fiji in the Mens event, behind Wallis and Futuna in second and Tahiti in first place. In the Womens V1 Sprint Meagan Miller of Takia Canoe Club and the baby of the Fiji Va’a Team at just 17 years old, finished a commendable 4th with Wallis and Futuna in 3rd, Palau in 2nd and Tahiti in their familiar 1st place spot.
On Thursday Salome Tabutalei of Kaiwai Lami Canoe Club finished in 4th place in a close race in the Womens V1 10km marathon, whilst Kelekele Lausi, also of Kaiwai, battled it out to the end to claim bronze in a photo finish in the Mens 15km marathon. Tahiti won both races.
The whole Fiji Va’a team was made up of: Sydel Whippy (Team Manager), Stanley Ooms (Coach), Ben Wilson, Marika Cakaulevu, Paul Yaqona and Johji Wong (Taf’aga Outrigger Canoe Club), Johnny Chung and Meagan Miller (Takia Canoe Club), Kelekele Lausi and Salome Tabutalei (Kaiwai Lami Canoe Club) and Jale Tomasi (Nadi Bay Canoe Club).