Bukitaua in Canada
NO OTHER I-KIRIBATI !
Some young people would have found this experience very daunting, especially when you are only just 16 ! However, Bukitaua - who qualified to represent his country for the first time by participating in Trials and then benefiting from withdrawals by other athletes - managed to not only survive, but apparently flourish in these strange circumstances.
This was his first overseas trip - one more I-Kiribati athlete with a new passport ! - and he had to travel alone until he met the Oceania team and Team Manager in Sydney. So he had no-one who shared his language. We tried to brief him, e.g. about airports, check-ins, etc. and it must have been an understandable preparation.
NEW START LAWS !
Since these were decided on during the Berlin IAAF Congress last year, we have been concerned that our sprinters might travel a along way for nothing, by getting disqualified in a major competition. So far, so good, including the World Indoor, the OAA under-18, the World Junior, and the Youth Olympics. When it happens, it is likely to be devastating for the athlete ! He raced his Heat, got a reasonable start, finished 7th. / 7 and set an electronic PB for the 100m. (12.43. Wind 1.1)
AND A GOOD REPORT !
Overall Team Manager (and President of OAA), Mr. Geoff Gardner, was impressed by the young man, particularly in his attitude to life, his determination, and his rapport with the others.
Well done, Buki !