IN an amazing result, Friana Kwevira has won a bronze medal in an internally rated javelin competition in Melbourne, Australia on Saturday.
A right arm amputee, this was Friana’s first International Paralympic Committee (IPC) sanctioned event.
Friana was third behind two experienced paralympian medallists. She threw 26.49m to finish behind two-time Paralympic athletes.
This result now ranks her third in the Commonwealth.
Her throw was a huge improvement from her Commonwealth Games Training Camp best in January this year of 19.45metres – and that was a two metre improvement in javelin since the Commonwealth Games pre-selection camp on the Gold Coast in Queensland in November 2017.
“This is a very exciting performance trajectory,’’ said Vanuatu Paralympics’ spokesman.
The athletes travelled from Vanuatu under the supervision of the Commonwealth Games para-team manager Jessica Richardson, an Australian volunteer working with the Vanuatu Paralympic Committee and VASANOC, and Chris Nunn.
Chris Nunn is a High Performance Olympic Para Coach who accompanied the team to provide technical coaching and on ground support whilst In Melbourne.
He has been an enthusiastic supporter of the efforts of the newly rejuvenated Vanuatu Paralympic Committee (VPC), securing funding for provincial outreach and Talent Identification Programs with funding through Agitos and the Oceania Paralympic Committee.
On Thursday, the athletes trained with a local para-squad and were given technical correction coaching before attending their classification assessment.
The assessments were straightforward for the two class F46 athletes, Friana Kwevira and Marcelline Moli (a right arm amputee javelin thrower), whilst Dephnny Naliupis, a Cerebral Palsey classification 100 metre runner, was very thoroughly assessed for class T35 for more than an hour.
As part of the classification requirements, the athletes were then required to be observed under competition circumstances and once this had been done, the athletes were then confirmed in their classification class and therefore completed the final entry requirements for the Commonwealth Games.
The performances of each of the athletes augurs very well for the Commonwealth Games in April this year.
The spokeswoman said Friana Kwevira’s throw was a personal best. Access to training in Port Vila and to a training camp in Brisbane in January this year has seen a steady improvement in her technique and distances.
She said Marcelline and Dephnny also achieved personal best performances in their respective events, to ensure all athletes now return to Vanuatu with confidence as they prepare for the Commonwealth Games.
With two months to go and with a well-planned training schedule, Vanuatu’s team of three young female parathletes has room to improve even further.
“We now have three role models who will provide encouragement for many children with disabilities and women within their local and broader communities of Vanuatu,” said Chris Nunn.