Sister act leads to Lagakali victory

Sisters ... Kinisalote Navula, left, and younger sister Filomena both of Lagakali House after winning their 100m finals respectively during the Adi Cakobau School inter-house at the ANZ Stadium in Suva on Friday, May 20, 2022. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Sisters Kinisalote and Filomena Navula achieved a remarkable feat winning their events at the Adi Cakobau School athletics inter-house at the ANZ Stadium in Laucala Bay yesterday.

Younger sister Filomena claimed gold in the 100 and 200 metres, while elder sister Kinisalote was crowned the blue ribbon champion in the same events. Kinisalote clocked 13.63 seconds in the 100 metres and 27.01 seconds in the 200 metres.

The blue-ribbon winner said patience and hard work finally paid off.

“It is a really nice feeling to take part after a long time. I decided to try both events this year and the results exceeded my expectations,” said the 19-year-old from Nadi.

She says coming from an athletic family, support from their parents is something that drives them.

“Athletics is the most loved sport in my family. Our parents are always committed in every way and we are so grateful. We have been praying and working hard behind the scenes and God has answered our prayers with this breakthrough.”

The sisters say they will not get ahead of themselves and will first focus on the Triple N Zone before shifting focus to the Fiji Finals.

“We will take everything step by step. It is going to be a tough process and the target is always to win. We will do our best but God has the final say,” said Kinisalote.

Proud mum Elisapeci Navula says the win did not come as a surprise knowing how competitive her daughters are.

“They have been competing ever since they were little. Filomena started taking part in the under-9 grade when she was eight and Kinisalote started when she was nine,” said their mother.

The sisters represented the Nadi district at the Chow Games from under-9 until the competition came to a halt during COVID.

“Kinisalote has been winning medals at the Coke Games when she joined in the junior grade, winning the 100 metres and taking part in long jump. This is the first time she is taking part in both track events and it is a good feeling seeing her excel in both.”

Navula is the coach for the Nadi Athletics Club and said she started grooming her daughters and other athletes from there who are now part of the ACS squad.

“Once the COVID restrictions were eased, we began club training in Nadi and we are grateful that Fiji Athletics holds competitions where we can test our athletes and gauge their performances.”

Their mother always advises them to have fun while taking part.

“I always tell them to have fun. Enjoy and participate to the best of your abilities.”

Meanwhile, Lagakali House claimed top honours winning 20 gold, 8 silver and 11 bronze medals.

Mokosoi House were runners-up with 11 gold, 11 silver and 10 bronze medals while Uci House won 11 gold, 15 silver and 15 bronze medals.

Kakala House came in fourth with 9 gold, 20 silver and 12 bronze medals.

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