Topic: Rio Olympics 2016

Kava flowing after Fiji's win

By Moana Makapelu Lee

Former Fijian rugby captain Deacon Manu celebrates Fiji’s Rio Olympic win in true-Fijian style.

Speaking from his home in Hong Kong, he told Te Kāea news, “The communities all around the world, the Fijian communities that I’ve touched base with, many around the world, and they’re all in full party mode and the kava is flowing like water at the moment to celebrate the victory.”

The Fijian side thumped Great Britain 47-7 at the Rio Olympics final snatching their first Olympic gold medal in history. Deacon says it’s a dream four years in the making for the tiny island,  “to win gold first time there, it’s massive for Fiji, it’s massive for Fiji rugby and it’s massive for rugby. So it’s a historic day for so many things and so many people and the support as well over in Fiji and all over the world is just overwhelming.”

Deacon (Taranaki and Taharoa) captained the National Fijian Rugby 15’s team at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.  He spoke to some of the national Sevens team members before the final match,  “they wanted to go out and really perform and just go for it and just let off the shackles and really just got for it and show a little bit about themselves and Fiji rugby and I’m sure without any doubt they have done that.”

He says the win has united Fijian’s across the globe,  “It’s one of those things, you think about what makes up Fiji and you know it’s Rugby, it’s the faith and it’s the culture and you mix those all-together.  Very special to have that and I think it’s still sinking in for a lot of people really that a tiny island of Fiji are able to produce gold medals."

Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama congratulated the Fijian coach, Ben and Ryan and his team saying, " A wonderful reception awaits our boys when they arrive back in Fiji. Never before has the Fijian spirit soared so high as it does today. Never have we stood so tall as a nation. So let us rededicate ourselves to the task of building our beloved Fiji. One nation, one people, playing an even greater role in the region and the world."

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