History-making Fiji team hoist their fifth trophy in Hong Kong. (Photo by Adam)
Ritah Aliguma, AIPS Africa EC Member
HONG KONG, April 7, 2019 - Mere listening to Fiji’s anthem titled "God bless Fiji", one realises that only victory surrounds the team! Tears flowed as they sang their national anthem, practically showing the love they have for their country and their willingness to have the best results. Amazing fireworks which lasted for about a minute followed after the winning team was announced and the crowd went crazy in support of the favourite Hong Kong Sevens team.
A perfect end Fiji’s 21-7 victory over France in the final saw them take their fifth title in a row at the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens. The win was a perfect end to a scorching final day that first saw them being pushed to the limit by a spirited and youthful USA team in the semi finals.
"The maturity of the team gave us victory. We stayed composed and disciplined. We got some bit of pressure from teams like USA, New Zealand but we were able to remain focused and God helped us see history," Coach Gareth Beber said.
Speechless Captain Jerry Tuwai began his interview by giving special thanks to God for the historic win. "First of all, I want to thank the Almighty, Glory be to God who has enabled us to win again. I’m speechless. I don't know what to say but I’m very excited. Thank you Fijians for believing in us and supporting us every time," the emotional Fiji captain exclaimed.
Last year Fiji had come to Hong Kong looking to raise spirits back home and they grabbed a slice of history with a fourth straight title win - and an 18th overall, dedicating it to people in Fiji. Cyclone Josie had claimed a reported four lives and left thousands of dwellings flooded when it hit the island nation at high tide in early April.
Prestigious competition Hong Kong Sevens was first played on 28th March 1976 as a one-day tournament comprising twelve teams at the Hong Kong Football Club. The hosts won that inaugural competition and just like HKRFU Chairman and Sevens co-creator A.D.C. “Tokkie” Smith stated, that was the most colourful day of sport ever that put Hong Kong on the international sporting map. Up till date, this prestigious competition has continued to attract thousands of people from across the world to Hong Kong, and has made millions to follow the sport.
Overwhelming experience For the young reporters, covering the Hong Kong Sevens was an overwhelming experience. “My first time to watch such an international and very competitive game.Every thing was amazing and I couldn't believe taking pictures from the touchline, I am so grateful to Raymond Chiu and the Hong Kong Sports Press Association for granting me this golden lifetime experience," Winnie Tong from Macow said.