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Du Toit knows Pacific Games is important for Rio hopefuls

29 June 2015

PAC GAMES: Australia’s first foray into the Pacific Games will be the perfect opportunity for some of Australia’s brightest young athletes to shine on the international stage.

Up-and-coming rugby sevens star Dom Du Toit is looking to make every post a winner in Port Moresby as she aims to cement her spot in the Australian senior side that has already qualified for the 2016 Rio Games. 

The Aussies will feature several players that secured Olympic qualification by finishing third in the World Series.

Some of these players are also being rested to give other players, like Du Toit, a chance to impress.

The Queensland speedster starred for Australia at the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games and is again looking forward to donning the green and gold. 

"It’s really exciting,” said the 18-year-old Queenslander. 

“This will be my first international tournament with the senior team so I’m really looking forward to it.

“It will be a really great opportunity for everyone to show the coaches what we can do, what we have learnt in the national program and that we are up to playing at senior level.”

The Aussies will come up against the best teams in the region including hosts Papua New Guinea along with Fiji, Tonga and Samoa and are expecting some positive results in what has already been a strong 2015. 

"We are confident we can go really well at the Pacific Games.

"We have a really good team with a mixture of youth and experience. 

"The girls are all really talented and have been training really hard so hopefully it can all come together.”

Having only taken up the sport in 2013, the former touch football player has had a rapid rise to the senior team.

She scored a hat-trick in the final in Nanjing to ensure Australia secured Youth Olympics gold and recently moved to Sydney to train with the senior national squad full-time. 

“It was really tough to start to move away from home but all the girls and coaches helped me settle in.

“All the senior girls on the team have really helped me develop my game especially in the contact area.

“They’ve taken time before and after training to give me all the tips I need to take on the stronger girls.”

If her improvement continues there is no doubt that Du Toit will be on the plane to Rio as Australia looks to win a medal from the Olympic debut of rugby sevens.

"It would be indescribable and an absolute honour to represent Australia at Rio. 

"Nanjing was an insight into what the Games will be like if I get the chance to go. 

"The Olympics are what most kids dream of and having the opportunity to represent Australia was definitely one of mine as I was growing up.”

The rugby sevens competition kicks off on July 9 with Australia taking on Tonga, Samoa and Papua New Guinea on the opening day of play.

Australia will also compete in weightlifting, sailing and taekwondo in Port Moresby in what is Australia’s first participation at a Pacific Games. The Opening Ceremony is on Saturday (4 July) with the Closing Ceremony two weeks later.

Matt Bartolo

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