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- Sponsored : Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC)
The Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) has met with a delegation from the Japanese Embassy regarding a possible collaboration with the country’s team prior to this year's Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Following discussions at Fiji Olympic House in Suva, FASANOC’s sponsorship and marketing manager Ritesh Ratiram said the national governing body welcomed the opportunity.
He also stated it would be looked at how Team Fiji and the Japanese Embassy, whose delegation was led by adviser Chizuru Horiba, could benefit from working together for a successful build-up to Tokyo 2020.
In March, during the Japanese Film Festival, there is set to be an opportunity for the public to take part in some activities being planned by the Embassy.
"Discussions included possible collaborations for cultural programmes amongst other things," Ratiram said.
It is hoped Fiji will take a team of more than 50 athletes, coaches and team officials to Tokyo 2020.
The team is likely to depart on July 17, with the men’s and women’s rugby sevens teams expected to be in Japan earlier for a pre-Games training camp.
Team Fiji’s Chef de Mission Patrick Bower and administrator Jane Niubalavu will form the advance party.
Last year, Bower confirmed that the city of Ōita had been selected as Team Fiji’s host for pre-Games training camps to give the athletes the opportunity to acclimatise to what is expected to be scorching heat during Tokyo 2020.
"Team Fiji will also benefit greatly from the high standard of venues available in the city of Ōita for the sports that Fiji will be participating in during Tokyo," he said.
"This cost [is something] we would otherwise be unable to afford and thus [it would have meant we would] not have the best possible approach to the Games.
"It is also an opportunity to participate in pre-Games competition and also to focus on what Team Fiji would like to achieve without too many distractions."
While Fiji's men’s and women’s rugby sevens teams have already earned direct qualification to Tokyo 2020, other sports in which athletes are vying for Olympic berths include archery, athletics, boxing, judo, karate, swimming and table tennis.
Judoka Tevita Takayawa will have the chance to prove himself at the upcoming Düsseldorf Grand Slam, due to take place from February 21 to 23.
Archery Fiji will also get an opportunity to qualify athletes at the Oceania Continental Tournament, scheduled to be held in Suva on April 5 and 6.
Among those looking to secure their place will be two-time Olympian Robert Elder.
Swimming has two universality places on offer, while athletics has one.
Bower, though, has encouraged athletes to try and do their best to qualify on merit.
SOURCE: INSIDE THE GAMES/PACNEWS
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