FASANOC recognised the achievements of two at their latest Fiji Sports Hall of Fame and Olympic Order Dinner ©FASANOC

The Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) has announced the induction of athletics great Salome Tabuatalei into the Fiji Sports Hall of Fame, recognising her dedication and excellence in the sport.

During the same ceremony, the nation's Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Chef de Mission, Patrick Bower, was given the Olympic Order for his work at the event.

Tabuatalei currently holds the national records in the women's 1500 metres, 3,000, 5,000, 10,000 metres and half marathon in athletics - all which were set in the 1990s.

She was also an accomplished va'a paddler.

It makes her the 45th inductee into the Hall of Fame, which includes the men's rugby sevens team that won Fiji's first gold at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, an athlete must have retired from their sport at least five years ago and be a Fijian citizen, showing themselves to be a regional or international individual of excellence.

Salome Tabuatalei was inducted into the Fiji Sports Hall of Fame ©FASANOC
Salome Tabuatalei was inducted into the Fiji Sports Hall of Fame ©FASANOC

Bower receives the Olympic Order after years of teaching athletics in the country, having overseen Fiji's best Games to date at Tokyo 2020, where the island nation successfully defended their men's rugby sevens title, while the women won a bronze medal too.

The Fiji Sports Hall of Fame and Olympic Order Dinner was held at the Grand Pacific Hotel with businessman Ram Bajekal as the guest speaker.

"We're thrilled to induct Salome to the Fiji Sports Hall of Fame and confer to Patrick the Fiji Olympic Order," said FASANOC President Makarita Lenoa.

"Their contributions to sports in Fiji are fully deserving of such recognition within the walls of Fiji Olympic House. 

"We look forward to adding more plaques to the Hall of Fame in the coming years."

Nominees for the Olympic Order must have had at least 15 years of contribution at the highest level of sports development, or for extraordinary services - such as Bower's - over a shorter period.

Individuals can receive the Olympic Order for service in administration, management, coaching and technical, and medical and sports science.