Congratulations to Leslie Copland. A great effort at the MiniGames in the Cook Islands. The gold - wealth - of Fiji is in the young people with passion to achieve their goals.
from Fiji Times Golden throw
Saturday, September 26, 2009
LESLIE Copeland has set his sights on representing Fiji at the 2012 Olympics after claiming the javelin gold medal and setting a new Pacific Mini Games record.
Copeland yesterday shattered the mark set by his coach and former Fiji rep James Goulding (73.58m) in 1997. Copeland's new distance is 74.98 metres. Goulding is Copeland's coach. The 21-year-old said hard work had paid off. "I always had a dream to achieve this," Copeland said. "It's come after a long time. It's a personal best throw for me. The record has come as a bonus."
Copeland was far superior to his rivals from New Caledonia and Samoa. Both of them only managed to clear 63 metres. Copeland thanked Goulding for guidance. He said the win has laid the platform for him to compete at a higher level. "I would like to thank Red Bull my sponsor," Copeland said. "The other sponsors for Team Fiji as well. This is a big stepping stone for me. My next aim is the Olympics in 2012. It will take a lot of hard work to get there." Copeland said he is happy to beat the mark set by his coach.
He said he was confident of breaking the record in the Mini Games. "I came here with a mission and to win gold," Copeland said. "I knew I could set a new record. My coach is a different kind of person. He keeps pushing me all the time. This win is for all the people back in Fiji."