December 23 - Fiji has announced plans to recruit around 20 disabled athletes ahead of the 2015 Pacific Games as the island nation aims to build upon the historic gold medal it won at London 2012.
High jumper Iliesa Delana leapt his way to victory in the F42 category at London last year to win, not only his nation's first ever Paralympic medal, but the first gold by any athlete from a Pacific island.
Along with jubilant celebrations throughout Fiji, Delana was awarded with a new home and was commemorated on a special coin after being credited with bringing the nation together following recent civil conflict.
National Paralympics coach Fred Fatiaki is now confident there are other disabled athletes in the country who "want to make a name for themselves" and are capable of replicating his success.
As part of a talent identification process Fatiaki is planning to visit every "special school" in Fiji to identify potential athletes who are eligable for international competition.
Fiji took three Para-athletes to September's Pacific Mini Games in Wallis and Futuna, where they won one silver and one bronze medal, and is hoping for better success at the 2015 Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea and then at Rio 2016.
"Right now I have less than 10 athletes who are training with me of which six are training full time," he told the Fiji Times.
"I would like to have around 20 athletes training with me by the end of next year for the 2015 Pacific Games and other international competitions.
"The overall target is getting a few athletes into the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and there are different qualifiers for the different categories so the more athletes we have the better it will be."
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