16 Jul 2016

Sport: Fiji to enforce strict rules on athletes in Rio

10:21 am on 16 July 2016

The Fiji Olympic Committee will enforce strict rules to ensure the safety of its athletes at the Rio Games.

A number of top athletes, including Fiji golfer, Vijay Singh, have opted to skip next month's Summer Games, citing the Zika virus.

There have also been a series of holdups at knife and gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro in recent months.

Chef de Mission Cathy Wong says they won't be leaving anything to chance.

"We're there to compete for the Olympic Games and we must not lose focus on that. Yes there are risks associated with going to any event that you go to so my job is really to mitigate this and to minimise it.

With any major event we go to any outings is sanctioned by the Chef de Mission and usually we don't entertain unnecessary outings...so our team has got strict rules and procedures in place to enforce the safety of our athletes and we're keeping well abreast with our embassy in Brazil, who will be keeping us well informed of situations on the ground," she said.

Fiji are sending the Pacific's biggest delegation to Brazil with a record 53 athletes.

She says they are receiving regular updates regarding security and health issues to ensure they are as prepared as possible.

"I am very very fortunate I have very good support staff: My deputy Chef de Mission of Wayne O'Connor, who is very very efficient; we have our marketing person and our logistics person; I have very good support from the goverment of Fiji, in terms of our foreign affairs department here."

They've come on board to help in the areas of making sure we look after our team, our tourism sector and our embassy in Brazil, so I'm very fortunate in that I've got good support to help me manage and look after the team in Rio," she said.

The advance part for Team Fiji leaves for Rio next Sunday, with the rest of the delegation to arrive in the Games Village on July the 29th.

The Fiji sevens teams leave on the 23rd and 26th of July respectively for one-week camps in Santiago, Chile before moving into the Games Village, while the Fiji football team will fly direct to their first competition venue in the city of Salvador.

Security in Rio will be double that at the London Olympics in 2012.

Security in Rio will be double that at the London Olympics in 2012. Photo: Photosport