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Taqua lives her childhood dream

DESPITE being a school drop out, young weightlifter Raijeli Taqua is living her childhood dream of representing Fiji at international games.

Like many other athletes, Taqua has carried on their family tradition in sport — weightlifting.

At only 14, the Baba lass from Levuka, Ovalau, already won some medals for Fiji. She won bronze medal at the Pacific Mini Games in Cook Islands in September.

Taqua is following the footsteps of her uncle and Fiji weightlifting champion Joe Vueti and her two cousins Manueli Tulo and Maria Liku who are training at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute in New Caledonia.

She only reached Class Five at Marist Convent Primary School in Levuka but there was no turning back for the youngster as she set her sights on setting foot on international countries to represent her country.

She never thought that she’ll one day board a plane but playing the family sport is a cherished moment for Taqua as she continues to shine locally.

Taqua is also the first Fiji athlete to be part of the Olympic Youth Games in Singapore next year.

She said her trip to Singapore was a huge achievement to her young weightlifting career.

She said her uncle’s advice is what she cherished to her young weightlifting career.

“I followed my uncle (Jo Vueti) a lot and I’m not surprised to end up competing at international games like him. It’s a dream come true for me and I’ll want to achieve the highest of it.”

Her two cousins Liku and Tulo are in New Caledonia. Taqua said she is motivated with what her two cousins are achieving in New Caledonia.

“My aim is to train alongside my two cousins in New Caledonia. I know that it would be very tough but I’m working on that now.”

She urged her peers to strive for the best.

She said not everybody would be good academically but there are God-given talents which we should utilise to the fullest.

“I left school at Class Five but that was not the end of the road for me. I did my best and I only thank God for giving me this talent.

I’ll utilize this to the fullest and achieve the highest no one weightlifter in Fiji has ever achieved.”

Taqua is doing intensive training in the country and would soon jet out to join her Liku and Tulo in New Caledonia to prepare herself for the Olympic Youth Games next year.