FIJI’s top long-distance runner Avikash Lal finished 118th in the senior men’s race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championship in Kampala, Uganda on Sunday.
Lal, originally from Nadi, having represented Fiji in 2015 in the race, clocked 35 minutes and 35 seconds in the 10, 000 metres where he competed against 146 reps from other countries.
“It was a different feeling altogether competing with the other champion runners of the other countries and it was a learning experience for me,” he said.
“It was a life changing experience for me in beating some of the runners.
“It was very hot in Uganda. Some people from other nations were shocked with my achievement, there were moments when people started cheering and chanting ‘go Lal go’ since I was the lone ranger from my country and people in the games village knew that someone from Fiji was beating some runners from other nations, especially from the African continent.
“I thank my parents, coach Bruse Swoter, Athletics Fiji and Oceania Athletics Federation, Palas Auto Services, Jetrunners Club president Abhinesh Kumar and Selwyn Williams from Athletics Fiji.”
The 21-year-old said he wanted to train in South Africa to improve his performance.
“If I have a good sponsor then I could further my training in South Africa since I need to train at a high altitude as Fiji does not have one. I hope our big companies would support me develop my running and invest in me to train in South Africa.”