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Team Fiji Archer Aims For Gold

Team Fiji Archer George Fong has set his sights the Archery Team winning a Gold medal at this year's Pacific Games in Samoa after winning Bronze medals in the team event at the 2007 and 2011 Pacific Games.

George believes that he and his team mates have put in the hard work and are hoping that this will reflect come competition time in Samoa.

"My aim is to achieve the best result I possibly can and to win my first ever Pacific Games Gold medal," he said.

"I believe that I have trained hard for this tournament and I want the results to match the effort."

George who competes in the Recurve event recently returned from the 2019 World Archery Championships in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands which was also his first  international competition.

He said it was an exciting and humbling experience to stand and compete alongside the best archers in the world including teammate and Olympian Robert Elder.

George also said that despite it being his first international competition, the relaxed atmosphere and mixture of calm and concentration was amazing to see since archery was all about concentration.

"The atmosphere was relaxed but everyone was laser-focused on the job they had to do, which was really amazing to see," he said.

The international experience has  motivated George to  improve on getting better at the sport.

"I was hoping to put on a good performance under the pressure of such a high-level competition," George said.

"I am glad to say I achieved this, shooting a new Personal Best score of 626 in my World Archery debut.

"My previous highest score was 604 at the 2019 Australian Open in February and I plan to continue this trend."

Geroge said being able to shoot in the biggest archery tournament in the world (and this tournament was the largest World Championships ever, with over 600 archers) was an invaluable experience, and after being a part of it, he had a lot more self-confidence going into the Pacific Games next month.

George is the current president of World Archery Fiji and served with the National Sporting Federation since 2011 as the Treasurer and later Vice President before his current post.

He has been involved with the sport since 2004 while still in high school and represented Team Fiji at the 2007 South Pacific Games and 2011 Pacific Games, winning Bronze medals in the team events at both.

George recently won an Individual Silver medal at the 2018 Oceania Archery Championships.

Another strong contender for a Gold Medal in Archery in Apia is Olympian and current IOC Tokyo 2020 Scholarship recipient, Robert Elder.

Meanwhile as President of the National Federation, George said World Archery Fiji is hosting the 2020 Oceania Archery Championships in Suva next year, from April 5th to 9th, 2020.

"We look forward to welcoming our fellow countries to this event, which will serve as a Continental Qualifying Tournament for the Tokyo Olympics," he said.

At the recent World Championship George said in total, across both the World Championships and World Para Championships, there were over 1500 athletes and officials.

"This required a lot of planning and organization," he said.  

"As de-facto Team Manager, I had a glimpse into the amount of work that needed to be done to keep things running smoothly and we hope to put on a good show come the 2020 Oceania Archery Championships.  

Team Fiji Archery's last Pacific Gold medal came in 2011 through Olympian Robert Elder with George winning a Bronze medal in the team event.

Archery was first contested at the 1971 Games at Papeete, Tahiti. It has also been included in the Pacific Mini Games, firstly at Norfolk Island in 2001 and then Port Vila in 2017.

Team Fiji Archery to the 2019 Pacific Games will include Olympian Robert Elder, George Fong, Patrick Nadan, Federick and Lisa Leota and is managed by Francis Dominiko.