Fijian para table tennis player Mere Rodan is one step closer to qualifying for the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
This was after she performed well during the Oceania Para Table Tennis Championships in Bendigo, Australia on Friday.
Rodan, who has only been playing the sport for six months, had an impressive outing after defeating Australian number one Rosalie Turnbull in her final round robin match.
If she qualifies after the last elimination round, next year, Rodan will become only the second Fijian to qualify for the Paralympics following Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports, Iliesa Delana who qualified and became the first Fijian and Pacific Island Paralympic gold medalist.
Her strong performance was applauded by the Fiji Table Tennis Association president Anthony Ho.
“She’s playing against the best from around the region and to accomplish this is huge,” Ho said.
“Even more impressive is that she’s only been playing for six months so it’s really big achievement for her and for all of us.
“I think she’s setting the platform for other disabled people and proving that they don’t have to be limited by their disabilities and they can achieve anything.
“This has also set her up well to be one of the favourites for the 2015 Pacific Games.”
Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports Iliesa Delana echoed similar sentiments, saying that Rodan was breaking barriers.
“She’s proving to be a very good example that other disabled people can look at and see that despite her being in a wheelchair, she can participate in sports and do well at it.
In other games, national junior reps/sisters Sally Yee and Grace Yee won bronze in the doubles while Young Jae Park won bronze in the boys’ division.
Leading up to the finals scheduled for today, Christopher Lal and Phillip Wing have qualified for the Oceania Cup knockout. Sally and Grace Yee have also qualified for the Oceania Cup knockout.
The team travels to Melbourne after the tournament for training and return on Friday.