7 Sep 2004

Fiji celebrates Vijay Singh becoming world's top golfer

3:44 pm on 7 September 2004

Fiji is in euphoria today after Vijay Singh became the world's top ranking golfer when he took the premier position from Tiger Woods after winning the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston.

The former prime minister and a keen golfer, Sitiveni Rabuka, says "the Fiji flag is flying high today and it's a proud day for Fiji."

Mr Rabuka says Vijay Singh has never broken his association.

He says "it demonstrates how a whole nation can focus on one citizen of a country who remained loyal to his citizenship and has elected, despite the various options open to him, to remain a Fijian golfer."

Mr Rabuka says Singh's achievement can also be used by current political leaders to unify Fiji as his decision to continue to fly the Fiji flag wherever he plays is a great example of people having their country of birth at heart.

Mr Rabuka says Singh was awarded the Order of Fiji during his tenure as prime minister.

The captain of the Fiji Golf Club, Jope Tuivanuavou, says Singh should be honoured and recognised for representing Fiji all over the world.

The former chief justice, Sir Timoci Tuivaga, who used to play with the new world champion says no sportsman whom Fiji has sent abroad can compare with Singh after his great win today.

Sir Timoci says he does not think Fiji will see another achievement like this for a long time.