Fiji sprint king Banuve reigns supreme

He has already claimed the title of being the fastest man in the Pacific in 2019.

On Thursday evening at Apia Park, Fijian Banuve Tabakaucoro, cemented that status with an exclamation mark with another golden performance in the 200 metre XVI Pacific Games final.

In doing so, he once again defeated Samoa's Jeremy Dodson.

Dodson finished the stronger of the pair, but ceded the title by four hundredths of a second, running 20.91 to Tabakaucoro's 20.87 seconds.

The 31-year-old Dodson said the conditions were great despite the rain.

“Great atmosphere, great competition, just wasn’t a great race for me," he said.

“I didn’t push well around the curve, let him get away again too far. He broke my race, and that’s just part of a lack of races throughout the year. I tend to fall apart when someone else is in front, instead of just running my own race."

Dodson said the experience will help him going forward.

“Every race helps out, whether it’s an A-level race or an F-level race. To have Banuve right there helps even more."

He said the pair bring out the best in each other.

“He’s kind of at the start of his career, I’m at the end of my career. So hopefully I can hand the baton off and he can take it."

He said they put on a great show for the crowd as well.

“It’s one thing just to dominate, but it’s another thing to battle all the way to the end, and that’s what the crowd loved.

Dodson said there is plenty he can pass on to Samoa's younger sprinters like Kelvin Masoe.

“A lot of people were surprised that I stayed in the athletes’ village with them, but I’m here to help out the team, I’m here to share my experience."

That team will take on Tabakaucoro and Fiji in the 4x100 metre relay on Friday at 6:25 pm.

“We’re looking for gold, there’s nothing else, there’s no strategy," Dodson said. “We’re gonna get that one."

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