Sport: Pacific tipped for medal success in Rio
Pacific medal hopefuls talk about their goals for the Rio Olympics.
The Pacific Islands are tipped to win the region's first Olympic gold medal over the next fortnight.
The Fiji men's sevens team are top seeds in Rio and are all but assured of a place on the dais.
Vinnie Wylie talks with some of the Pacific's best hopes in Brazil.
It's been 20 years since Tongan boxer Paea Wolfgramm made the Pacific's first and, to date, only indent on the Olympic Games medal tally. But that looks set to change with World Series champions Fiji favourites to claim gold in rugby sevens. The women's side play their opening pool match on Sunday morning and Fijiana coach Chris Cracknell believes they can create history.
CHRIS CRACKNELL: "It's been on my mind for a couple of months now really. That pressure I don't think has been put on the girls because I don't think people at home have really twigged it - I think it's still a lot of the pressure is on the boys - but you know the girls could definitely be the first team to win a medal and that's the whole reason why we're going there, and I fully believe that this group of girls have the ability to do that."
Taewkwondo athlete Pita Taufatofua has been chosen as Tonga's flagbearer for the opening ceremony at the Maracana Stadium. After winning gold at the Oceania Qualifying Tournament in March the 32 year old talked up his medal chances in Rio.
PITA TAUFATOFUA: "One of the things I learnt from this whole experience is that the only way to succeed or achieve anything is to have absolute belief that you will. I have no doubt in my mind when I get on the mats I'm not going to leave anything behind and I have absolutely no doubt that I will be in medal contention. As soon as I stop believing that there's no need for me to go to the Olympics."
Samoa's Jeremy Dodson will be up against the likes of Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt and American sprint king Justin Gatlin in one of the Olympic glamour events, the men's 200m. The 28 year old was born and bred in the United States but says he's been overwhelmed by the support from the Samoan community and is hoping to repay that faith on the track.
JEREMY DODSON: "The whole goal is to make the finals and when I get to the finals I hope to just let it all go and have fun and shock the world. My best time is 20.07 seconds but I ran that in 2011 so it's been some time. I would say anything under 20.2 seconds will be a solid bet to get you through the rounds and hopefully in semi finals I do want to hit or hopefully break the 20 second barrier and push myself into finals and hopefully give me the confidence to compete for a medal."
Rio will also mark the Olympic swansong for one of the Pacific's most successful athletes. Papua New Guinea swimmer Ryan Pini retired after the London Games in 2012 but returned to the pool for last year's Pacific Games in Port Moresby, where he won seven gold medals. The 34 year-old will swim his favoured 100 butterfly event at his fourth and final Olympics and is hoping to make the semi finals.
RYAN PENI: "I sort of look at last year at what made the semi final and that was 52.2 seconds so it's about half a second faster than what I've been this year so far. I believe I can get there. I don't think that will make the semi final this year so I will have to be quicker if I want to do that - probably around the 52 flat or 51.9 - and that's sort of closer to what I have been eight years ago now, that seems like a long time ago, making the final for the Olympics in Beijing.'
Meanwhile the Fiji men's football team were the first Pacific athletes to compete in Rio on Friday morning, but found the going tough in a 8-0 drubbing by Korea.
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