Fiji gold in Olympic rugby sevens ‘mighty success’ for whole Pacific


Radio New Zealand’s Checkpoint reports on the reaction to the historic Fiji win.

By Avinesh Gopal in Suva

The stunning gold medal win by the Fiji rugby sevens side at the Rio Olympics in Brazil — the first-ever Olympic medal won by Fiji — is a celebration for the entire Pacific Islands region, says the Pacific Community’s director-general Dr Colin Tukuitonga.

“This is a magnificent and emphatic victory by a Pacific Island nation on the world stage,” he said in Suva today.

“While Fijians are rejoicing, this proud victory will be celebrated across all 22 Pacific Island countries and territories.

“Pacific Island nations may have the smallest teams competing in Rio, but Fiji has today proven they are mighty.”

Ruthless Fiji thrashed Great Britain 43-7, scoring seven tries, in the final to win the gold.

France 24 reported Fiji’s coach Ben Ryan as saying after the match: “I’m a little bit lost for words. The boys were on another scale of phenomenal.”They were just stratospheric and they saved the best until last.”

They had earlier beaten Argentina, United States, New Zealand and Japan on the way to the final.

Fiji will mark the triumph with a public holiday on March 22.

Avinesh Gopal is a Fiji Times reporter.

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