Friday, June 14, 2024
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Fiji Boxers impress at Olympic qualifiers

Five athletes from Boxing Fiji are currently in Bangkok, Thailand, competing for a chance to represent their country at the upcoming Olympic Games.

Under the guidance of Team Manager Nemani Rokobuli and Coach Cam Todd, the team featured athletes Jasmine Daunakamakama, Nehaal Avi, Elia Rokobuli, Aminiasi Saratibau, and team captain Jone Davule.

A standout moment came from 24-year-old Aminiasi Saratibau, who delivered a massive upset by defeating crowd favorite Olympian Juan Ortiz from Colombia by RSC in the second round in the 80kg category to reach the last 16.

Meanwhile, Team Captain Jone Davule was unfortunately ruled out on medical grounds before he could compete at 57kg while 25-year-old Elia Rokobuli suffered a cut from a punch by his opponent Hassan Kabengele in the first round of the 63.5kg bout.

Elia 1

“Good hard fight from Elia unfortunately got cut in RD 1. He still tried hard but lost on points. Doctor has treated and he is ok,” Said Coach Todd.

Among the fighters, 23-year-old Nehaal Avi faced a formidable opponent from Morocco in the 51kg category, a seasoned fighter with over 50 matches, including appearances at the Men’s World Tournament and Commonwealth Games.

Despite the odds, Avi’s performance was commendable.

“The experience was really good. I put on my best performance and my coach Cam Todd was really happy with my performance. My country was so proud to see me perform against the best and represent Fiji,” he told FijiLive.

Nehaal Avi 3

Avi also spoke about his learning experience and the mental aspects of boxing.

“Being comfortable on the world stage is crucial, and I’ve learned a lot about ring craft from this fight. Boxing is also a mental game, so being mentally sharp is essential to unlock the best version of yourself,” he explained.

He offered words of encouragement to upcoming boxers:

“Keep pushing, don’t let losses define you and weigh you down because my coach once said ‘winning and losing is the most dangerous way of thinking’. What matters is that you perform and improve at every event. Try again and again until you have made it. Do not give up.”

Looking forward, Avi and his team is optimistic about upcoming international competitions, including tournaments in Russia and Oceania with prize money on offer.

Simran Chand
Simran Chand
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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