First for Fiji: Para-athletes qualify for regional and world meets

Paralympian Iosefo Rakesa at the Fiji Sports Council National Fitness Centre at Laucala Bay in Suva on Monday, July 01, 2019. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

PARA-ATHLETES Iosefa Rakesa and Inosi Matea have created history for Fiji as the first two athletes to qualify on merit for the World Para Games and the 2020 Paralympics.

“We are on the right trend, in fact our goal is to qualify as many (athletes) as we can on merit; those that achieved the qualifying standards set out by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC),” Fiji Paralympics coach Albert Miller said.

“Iosefo is unique in the sense that he has qualified for two events — in the shot put and javelin in the F41 classification,” he said.

Rakesa will compete in the Pacific Games which begins in Samoa next week.

“He’s an exceptional athlete in the sense that he has qualified in two outright so that puts him up in the special category of athletes with disabilities.”

Miller said Matea qualified in the men’s javelin event with a throw of 49.55 metres where he won a silver medal at the Oceania Games in Australia last week.

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