“Riwai brings joy”
The family receives so much attention and respect thanks to my hardworking daughter, Maika Riwai.
Viniana Riwai (left) and Lavenia Tinai display their bronze medals at the Tokyo Olympics on July 31, 2021. Photo: World Rugby
Viniana Riwai brought joy to the people of Nasekula, Labasa.
And her 54-year-old father said his daughter’s exploits on the biggest athletic scene gave their family a gift like never before.
Maika Riwai said the Fiji Fijiana team winning bronze at the Tokyo Olympics created a unique piece of history for their family.
“The family will never forget July 30 when my oldest daughter joined an elite squad of 13 players who won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics,” he said.
He said the accomplishment was no easy feat as she had to train, sacrifice herself and balance her personal life and family time with her rugby commitments.
The father of four said he now receives regular calls from relatives and friends congratulating Vini and their family on the success.
“The family receives so much care and respect because of my hard working daughter,” he said.
He hopes this victory will encourage fathers to support their daughters in their athletic careers.
“The victory was also possible thanks to the hard work of the Fiji Rugby Union and its officials to train the team to achieve the impossible,” he added.
Born June 6, 1991, she attended Labasa Sangam Primary School in 1998-2005.
She then moved to Labasa Muslim College in Grades 9-11, Suva Sangam College in 2009 after the Fiji Football Association spotted her as a competent national representative.
Life in Suva
The 30-year-old adjusted to life in Suva and stayed with a fanatic netball fanatic Wainiqolo family in Koronivia, Nausori.
She was introduced to the family after becoming friends with one of the daughters in the family.
Maika understands that staying away from home would do her good.
While in Suva, Viniana juggled rugby and football.
She made her debut for the Fiji Women’s National Rugby Sevens team in the 2013 Chinese stage of the Women Sevens Series, after which she forced herself into the World Cup squad. rugby sevens 2013 in Russia.
Viniana competed in the Rio 2016 Olympics where they lost to Great Britain in the quarterfinals to finish 8th overall.
In 2018, she represented the Fiji senior women’s team at the Oceania Nations Cup in New Caledonia, which also served as the Olympic qualifying event.
The team performed well but ultimately lost to New Zealand 8-0 in the qualifying final.
The next step
Her father said his daughter intends to compete in the 2022 World Cup in New Zealand from October 8 to November 12.
Edited by Osea Bola
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