From left; Claudie and Chloe Merick at the ANZ stadium in Suva. Photo: David Merick

The Merick sisters Claudie and Chloe have the ability and the potentials to record their respective personal best as they debut in the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games definitely July 28 to August 8.

The sisters are working so hard to conditioned their bodies right and ready for the battle and what makes it more interesting is that they are training under experience coaches in Fiji who have represented Fiji worldwide and are now retired to coaches.

The duo attends Suva Grammar School in Fiji and are guided by former Pacific Sprint King Jone Delai who is their school athletics coach.

Mr Delai was a former Fijian sprinter. Competing mostly over 100 metres, his personal best is 10.26 seconds.

Delai won a bronze medal in 100 metres at the 1990 Oceania Championships, and became Oceanian champion over both 100 and 200 metres in 1994. Jone competed in the 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympics. In 1998 he became the California Junior College 100 meters champion tying his personal best.

Jone Delai held the title of Fastest Man in the Pacific, with a time of 10.34s in the 100m sprints which was a South Pacific Games record. The SPG Record & his personal achieved best now comes in 2nd to reigning sprint king, Banuve Tabakaucoro’s 10.22s for the 100m sprint.

From Jone Delai or Delz as he known to many on the athletics tracks the sisters are being coached by Bola Tafou, coach Bola is also the coach for the current sprint king Banuve Tabakaucoro .

We can say the sisters are currently in good hands now with only five months to prepare it is just right for the girls to be prepared in Fiji that have the resources and experience coaches who will definitely help them to achieve their aims.

Elder sister Chloe believes the struggles and hard work over the years has paid off.

“I’m glad for this opportunity, all the struggles we went through the past and we thank VA for this opportunity as this is the first time for us to participate in international competitions,” she said.

Younger sister Claudie echoed the same sentiment and said;” I’m happy and excited at the same time thank you to Vanuatu Athletics for this opportunity,” she added.

The sister reminisces all the effort they have put in training last year which has finally materialised.

“Now we have to train hard and put more effort in training,” Chloe said. Our six months of hard work has paid off and now we are training hard with the best coaches here in Fiji. Our coach is a very experience coach, coach Bola Tafou and he is also the Pacific Sprint King coach so we blessed to have us as our coach,” Claudie said.

24 days to go until the Queen’s Baton arrives in Vanuatu

To get into the spirit of the 2022 Commonwealth Games Vanuatu have 24 days to witness the arrival of the Queen’s baton.

The baton will arrive into the country on February 22 and her Excellency Karen Bell and High Commissioner of the British High Commission will officially welcome the baton.

According to VASANOC during it’s time in Vanuatu, the Queen’s Baton Relay will visit Vanuatu Craft, Black Send, Vila Marine, Vanuatu Zipline, Port-Vila Golf, Mele Bridge and more.

There will be exciting activities planned during the visit.

The Queen’s Baton Relay is a tradition that celebrates, connects and excites communities from across the Commonwealth during the buildup to the Games. The Queen’s Baton will now visit all 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth for 294 days, covering 140,000 kilometers. The global journey will conclude at the Opening Ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on 28 July 2022.

The Queen placed Her message to the Commonwealth into the Baton, for it to be sealed and locked. The Queen’s message will be read out in full at the Birmingham 2022 Opening Ceremony.

Till Next Saturday!

Yumi Wan!!