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Friday, 14 June, 2002, 11:37 GMT 12:37 UK

Making a name for itself

A guide to Kiribati, a series of islands between Hawaii and Australia, advises visitors that swimsuits are not suitable.

Which is all the more strange considering one of its seven athletes at the 2002 Commonwealth Games will take to the water in the triathlon on the final day of the Games.

Dave Savage has ruled out any chance of a medal but plans to help put Kiribati on the map for perhaps only the second time in two years as he battles the swim, cycle and run disciplines.

Back in the year 2000, Millennium Island, part of Kiribati, was the first land mass to welcome in the new Millennium.

Savage believes the time has come for some fresh headlines.

"The problem is they have no way of following us out there. There's no TV coverage"
Dave Savage

"There are seven of us in total in the team," he told BBC Sport Online, "and between them they'll be hoping for a medal to ensure Kiribati makes a name for itself."

The 30-year-old, though, has taken an unusual route to get to the Games.

Currently a resident in Dorset, England, Savage explained: "My parents spent two or three years as teachers out in Kiribati and that was when I was born.

"I've kept my links with the place because of my adopted brother Kautu and visited there for the first time since leaving aged two, back in 1999.

"I could have stayed for an extra four weeks to see in the Millennium but I had some other travelling to do."

Back then, Savage was an unknown face but come this summer the Pacific Islanders will be paying full attention.

He said: "The problem is they have no way of following us out there. There's no TV coverage - people only have TVs to watch videos and dvds.

"So they won't be that aware of what we're up to in Manchester unless we give them a call."

Arriving in Manchester, the home for the 2002 Games, will mark a full circle for Savage.

His parents moved out of the city before moving to Kiribati.

And his first task when he gets there has already been decided for him - to meet his fellow team-mates off their plane.

Then, it is on to business.

"To get close to matching any of the top guys I'm going to have to be at my best," he added.

"And most importantly I've first got to ensure my mind can control the pain in what is, to my mind, the toughest sport at the Games."


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