Commentators' call commences Commonwealth course

22 March 2018

Images - ABC - Aaron Kearney

Story, By Aaron Kearney, ABC

Fijian shot putter Mustafa William Fall is heading to the Commonwealth Games.

Mustafa Fall was a 10-year-old boy running around his home in Nakasaleka Village when he was drawn in by excited noises coming from the radio.

It was an athletics broadcast about a "boy wonder", Banuve, who was setting the crowd alight. Mustafa wanted to give it a try.

And try he did, exposing his talent and focus to local athletics officials on Kaduva Island before moving to Viti Levu - attending the same school as the boy from the broadcast, the now-legendary Fijian sprinter and rugby player Banuve Tabakaucoro.

Mustafa with a shotput

Mustafa, though, would ultimately abandon running for throwing, a decision that has propelled him all the way to the Commonwealth Games this year on the Gold Coast of Australia.

Instead of a listener, he will soon be the legend that the commentators are describing.

"That is really special for me," he says.

Mustafa has won gold at the Melanesian and Oceania Games as well as silver and bronze at the Pacific Games.

At 22, Mustafa has already made it happen, winning gold medals at the Melanesian and Oceania Games, silver and bronze at the Pacific Games and gaining valuable Asian Indoor Athletics Championships experience.

Gold Coast 2018, though, will be like nothing he has experienced before.

Mustafa stretching his arms

Regardless of his result, Mustafa's trajectory from a remote island to the world stage is being held up as a victory for athletics' governing bodies and their grassroots strategies, through Australian aid's Pacific Sports Partnerships program and other mechanisms.

It is not only unearthing elite talent that might otherwise have gone unnoticed, it is ensuring critical nutrition, exercise and inclusion messages are reaching far-flung parts of the Pacific, like Nakasaleka Village.

Nutrition and exercise are, unsurprisingly, still at the heart of Mustafa's Gold Coast preparations.

See more here: Commentators' call commences Commonwealth course

This story was produced by ABC International Development as part of the Pacific Sports Partnerships funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Last Updated: 29 March 2018