Cheyenne Rova will be Fiji Swimming’s other swimmer to take to the blocks tonight (10:32pm Fiji Time) in Heat 5 of the Women’s 50m Freestyle at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

Rova became the first female swimmer from Fiji to win gold at the 2015 Pacific Games since Caroline Puamau’s golden swim at the 2003 Pacific Games.

This will be her first ever Olympic debut but the 26 year old is no stranger to the world stage having represented Fiji at the 2017 and 2009 FINA World Championships and the 2016 FINA Short Course World Championships. She’s also represented Fiji at the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games.

As mentioned in the beginning, Cheyenne will be taking to the blocks at around 10:32pm Fiji time in Heat 5 of the Women’s 50m Freestyle where she’s been placed in lane 7 with an entry time of 27.61s.

The International School Nadi PE Teacher took time off of work and moved to Suva to prepare for the Olympics. But then had to move back to Nadi when Fiji went back into lockdown after experienced a second wave of Covid-19 infections. There Cheyenne had to make do with what she had and maintained a rigorous training regime before flying to Australia for her 1 month training camp in Sydney.

Prior to checking in at the Games Village, both Cheyenne and Taichi attended 2 weeks training camp in the Prefecture of Oita.

Cheyenne has been a great role model to her peers and team mates at the Nadi Barracudas Swim Club, exemplifying excellence in and out of the pool.

Vakasama arrives home

After a strong 4th place finish in the Men’s 200m Breast in a time of 2:17.35, FS Coach Sharon Smith expressed that Taichi was particularly happy with his performance given the many obstacles he had to face while preparing for the Olympics.

…lockdown, 24 hour curfews, closure of gyms, training in backyard pools, waiting for permission to train at Nadi Sports Club, so with all that he was still able to swim an awesome race. I spoke to his coach in Fiji, Marlene Blake and she was very proud and happy with Taichi’s performance as well!

FS Coach – Sharon Smith

FS Coach, Sharon Smith also shared that it was an amazing experience for the both of them as it was their first ever Olympics and the fact that a Swimmer (Taichi) was asked to carry the flag in the opening ceremony.

Story by: Fiji Swimming (30/07/2021)

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