Fiji prime minister, 75, wins shot put bronze medal at Oceania athletics championships

    Fiji prime minister Sitiveni Rabuka, aged 75, turned back the clock to win a bronze medal in the shot put at the Oceania athletics championships on Wednesday.

    Rabuka represented Fiji in the decathlon, shot put, discus and hammer at the 1974 Commonwealth Games and played rugby union for his country.

    The Peoples Alliance party leader finished behind two Australians in the over-65 age category at the Oceania Championships in Suva, Fiji with a throw of 7.09 metres.

    “Even at 75, I hope to inspire the younger generation to develop a habit of keeping fit and staying healthy,” Rabuka wrote on Facebook.

    “It was indeed a morale booster for me,” Rabuka added, alongside a picture of him holding the medal.

    Rabuka narrowly missed out on another medal earlier in the week, finishing fourth in the discus.

    “It’s been exhilarating to go up against some of the finest throwers from Australia, French Polynesia, and New Zealand,” Mr Rabuka said according to the Fiji Times, adding that “as leaders in the community, we have a responsibility to guide and inspire others to stay away from harmful habits like alcohol, smoking, and drugs.”

    Rabuka, a former soldier as well as athlete, became prime minister in 1992 and held office until the 1999 election.

    After standing again and losing in 2018, Rabuka returned to power as head of the coalition government following elections in December 2022 which brought an end to former prime minister, Frank Bainimarama’s 16 years in power.

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