Fiji ready to host 2023 games

Fiji is ready to host the Pacific Games in 2023 if given a chance says assistant sports minister Iliesa Delana.

Delana who is currently in Papua New Guinea for the Pacific Games was asked of Fiji's intention to bid for the 2023 games, 20-years after the last one held in Suva.

Delana said there was no decision on the matter yet.

“The Pacific Games Council committee has not said anything on that yet,” he said.

“We are ready to host. The next Pacific Games is Tonga, after that the PGC will decide on 2023.”

Delana said there was a lot to learn from the host nation as they had proven everybody wrong by having world-class facilities done in time for the games.

“They are a very resourceful country and they have proven to the rest of the Pacific that they are capable of making world-class facilities,” he said.

Delana said Fiji was lucky to be closely associated with PNG.

“I am very happy that we as Pacific brothers and sisters are able enjoy the Pacific spirit and the spirit of the spirit of the games.”

Vanuatu hosts the next Mini Games in 2017, Tonga the next Pacific Games in 2019 while the Federated States of Micronesia hosts the Mini Games in 2021. The 2023 venue is yet to be decided.

Meanwhile, It was Team Fiji's girl power that hauled in five silver medals and one bronze medal at the Pacific Games in Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.

Fiji now has four gold medals, 10 silver and eight bronze.

Weightlifting continued its medal haul with flag bearer Apolonia Vaivai grabbing three silver medals in the women's 75kg category. She snatched 94kg and had a clean jerk of 110kg to make a total of 204kg.

Vaivai said she tried her best to beat Samoa's Mary Opeloge but her counterpart proved too strong.

“I tried my best but Mary is a strong lifter and I guess she deserved the win. For me, this is motivation to get back into training and get stronger,” she said.

In swimming, Matelita Buadromo and Caroline Puamau won silver medals in the 200m freestyle and 50m backstroke respectively.

Buadromo timed 2m8.41s, which was below the Pacific Games record of 2m8.47s but she fell second to New Caledonia's Lara Grangeon who finished with a time of 2m3.77s.

Buadromo has set a new national record though. Puamau swam the 50m backstroke with a time of 30.61s and again fell to New Caledonia's 16-year-old Emma Terebo.

And adding on to the girl power, it was the 12-women team in Va'a who brought in the bronze medal in 1500m sprints