Heroes' welcome for victorious Fijians

Sun, 21 Aug 2016 12:51

REACTION: Fiji's gold-medal-winning Sevens team received a tumultuous heroes' welcome when they returned home from Rio Sunday to launch two days of celebrations.

Thousands of fans lined the flag-bedecked streets of Nadi to catch a glimpse of their idols as the team made their way from the airport to an official welcome at a packed Prince Charles Park.

The players, wearing their gold medals round their necks, were introduced to the ecstatic crowd as "the greatest rugby Sevens team in the world".

Fiji's 43-7 trouncing of Great Britain in the Sevens Final at Rio delivered the South Pacific island nation its first ever Olympic medal.

"We won not because the boys were carrying the hopes of Fiji on their shoulders, but because the boys were on the shoulders of every Fijian," coach Ben Ryan declared.

Captain Osea Kolinisau found the outpouring of emotion overwhelming, telling journalists: "We knew it was going to be crazy but not this crazy."

The team received a standing ovation when they arrived at Prince Charles Park, as the crowd packed into the 18,000 capacity stadium clapped, danced and sang.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said it was a moment to be cherished forever.

"As a nation, we may be small but we are strong," he said.

"We have limited resources but we are determined and unbeatable especially when we play effectively as a team."

Bainimarama said Fiji's golden victory made the country, with a population of less than one million, the centre of the world on the day of the Olympic final when more people searched for Fiji on the Internet than any other subject.

"The win has inspired people from around the world," Bainimarama said.

The team later boarded a flight from Nadi to Suva ahead of a full day of celebrations on Monday, which has been declared a national holiday.

Agence France-Presse

 

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 14h15 Paris
Fri, 27 April 2018
Munster v Ulster 22h00 Thomond Park
Kings v Cheetahs 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Treviso v Zebre 22h00 Stadio Monigo
Dragons v Scarlets 22h00 Rodney Parade
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 Myreside
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Connacht v Leinster 22h00 Sportsground
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 22h00 Sixways
Wasps v Northampton Saints 22h00 Ricoh Arena
London Irish v Saracens 22h00 Madejski Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 22h00 Welford Road
Gloucester v Bath 22h00 Kingsholm
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 22h00 Sandy Park
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
Sharks v Bulls 10 | 40
SEVENS
MORE LOGS
Pool 0
Team P W D L Pts
Spain Sevens 0 0 0 0 20
Papua New Guinea 0 1 0 0 1
South Korea 0 0 0 0 0
Pool 00
Team P W D L Pts
Uruguay 0 0 0 1 1
Pool 19
Team P W D L Pts
England Sevens 0 0 0 0 19
Pool 20
Team P W D L Pts
Uganda Sevens 0 0 0 0 2
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Fiji Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Canada Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Australia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
France Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
Argentina Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
United States Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool D
Team P W D L Pts
South Africa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Kenya Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Russia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool
Team P W D L Pts
Wales Sevens