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FASANOC Welcomes Inclusion

The Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) welcomes the inclusion of Women’s Cricket, Para Table Tennis,Judo and Beach Volleyball to the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham,England.

This means that Birmingham 2022 will now feature 19 sports,with an integrated programme of 8 para sports – the biggest ever para-sport programme at a Commonwealth Games.

The 19 sports include: Athletics, Aquatics (swimming and diving), Badminton, 3 x 3 Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Boxing, Cricket(women’s), Cycling (road, track and mountain bike), Gymnastics (artistic and rhythmic), Hockey, Judo, Lawn Bowls, Netball, Rugby Sevens, Squash, Table Tennis, Triathlon, Weightlifting and Wrestling.

The 8 Para sports include: para-athletics, para-swimming,para-lawn bowls, powerlifting, para-cycling (track), para-table tennis and wheelchair basketball.

FASANOC Chief Executive Officer Lorraine Mar said theywelcomed the inclusion of the new sports.

"The Commonwealth Games are a high level international sporting arena and we are pleased that 19 of our National Federations can aspire to participation at Birmingham 2022.  National Federations should note however that since the 2018 Gold Coast Games, FASANOC has adopted a Minimum Athlete Selection Policy which sets out a minimum criteria for participation at a Commonwealth Games.   These 19 National Federations will therefore need to ensure that their athletes qualify according to FASANOC’s minimum selection criteria for Birmingham 2022.”

Fiji Table Tennis Association president Narendra Lal said they welcomed the opportunity to have their para table tennis reps participate at a Commonwealth Games.

"Some of our top para table tennis reps like Mere Roden and Iakoba Taubakoa need to challenge themselves," he said.

"But the Commonwealth Games is in 2022 and we have to look for more para athletes interested in the sport as our current crop of athletes are not getting any younger."

Cricket Fiji Chief Executive Officer Alex Konrote said they are very excited and happy that Cricket has made her way into this major multi-sport International Meet despite the Commonwealth Games 2022 having only 8 Women's Cricket Teams participating.

"Of the 53 or so Commonwealth members approximately 35 play Cricket and of that 9 are Tier 1 Cricket Nations and include the United Kingdom, Australia, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, New Zealand, South Africa plus the West Indian countries of Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago.

"Papua New Guinea and Samoan women's team too are also way up the ranking," he said.

"Therefore, Fiji's major task will be to qualify for the Commonwealth Games and we will know very soon from the International Cricket Council and the Commonwealth Games Federation what the qualification path will be for Birmingham 2022."

Fiji Volleyball Federation president Liga Gukisuva said the chance to take part at another Commonwealth Games would be fantastic for the sport.

" This is indeed great news for FVF, it speaks volume of the achievement and work done by the International Volleyball Federation which we part of now," he said.

He said the board and management will have to map out a plan for the next 3 years to ensure we prepare our players not only to participate but to win medals.  

Team Fiji Beach Volleyball’s first appearance at a Commonwealth Games came in 2018 at the Gold Coast, Australia edition.

Fiji Judo Association President Josefa Ravatudei said they were aware of the opportunity to participate at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

"At the moment all are athletes have been training hard and one of our top athletes is currently on a scholarship in Japan and also focused on the Olympics," he said.

Team Fiji has made 16 appearances at the Commonwealth Games winning three gold medals, four silver and seven bronze medals.

Fiji Medal winners at a Commonwealth Games have included: Judokas Sisilia Nasiga, Nacanieli Takayawa, Boxer Fine Sane, Athletics Saimoni Tamani and the 2018 Rugby Sevens Team.

Pic: Getty Images