Fiji declares public holiday after winning first ever Olympic medal

Fiji will have an extra public holiday to celebrate the country's first ever Olympic medal after its rugby sevens team won gold in Rio, Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama announced Friday.

The small Pacific island nation, which is still recovering from Cyclone Winston in February which killed more than 40 people, crushed Britain 43-7 in Thursday's final.

Bainimarama attended all three days of the Rio rugby sevens tournament, choosing to sit in the stands with Fijian fans instead of in the VIP area.

"This is a wonderful moment in the history of our nation. We have won our first gold medal at a summer Olympic Games and every Fijian is rejoicing at home and around the world," Bainimarama said in a statement.

Videos posted on social media showed fans dancing in the streets of Fiji's capital Suva, waving the pale blue Fijian flag that still has the Union Jack on it.

"It is a bit awkward that we had to beat Britain, with all that history there," Feini Lakai, an office manager in Suva, told the Guardian Australia.

The public holiday has been set for the 22nd of August.

Last update: Fri, 12/08/2016 - 09:26

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