August 18, 2022
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Funahashi scoops Gold on her debut

Jasper William's Japanese long-distance runner Hina Funahashi scooped her first ever gold medal in the Girls 15000 Metre Senior in Event 13 of Coca-Cola Games at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva today.
The 18 -year-old Funahashi, an exchange student from Japan attends Jasper Williams High School to study English. Little did she know that she would make her debut at the Coca-Cola Games.
Speaking to FijiLive, Funahashi said she always participated in the Athletics Games back in her homeland in Japan.
The Year 12 student shared her joyful experience and dedicated her medal to all the students and teachers of the school.
"It's so exciting. I feel really happy. My first time in the Games. Just crazy and happy," she said. 
"I came from Japan in January to learn English in Fiji."
"I live with my family but after attending Jasper High, I made a new family."
"My friends at the school really motivated me to be part of this competition."
"I saw the students training and I asked them what it was about so they told me about the Coca-Cola Games and I got interested."
"I spoke to one of my teachers and informed them of my experience as an athlete in Japan and she said I should try out for the Fijian athletics competition."
"Not much of a struggle for me because before I arrived in Fiji, I recently took part in the Games back home."
"So I had the fitness and strength in me and I just wanted to put myself to the test in Fiji where I heard athletics run shoeless because they want to enjoy the game."
"It’s for my teammates, students and teachers because they allowed me to be part of this Game and without their support, I would not be here."
Funahashi added that she is hopeful to break some records in Fiji.
By Romeka Romena

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