Team Niue Gold medalist, Boxer Duken Williams has revealed exclusively to BCN News the challenges he faced leading up to the 2023 Pacific Games n Honiara.
Even though training went well without any injuries, he did face a lot of adversity leading up to the games.
Williams has revealed to BCN that Police raided his house in Auckland, 3 weeks before he left for Honiara, froze his accounts and the Niue Boxing Teams sponsors pulled out just weeks before the games, so they had to fundraise to pay for their own travel to the games.
He also revealed that when he left for Honiara, he had no return flight booked for home due to lack of funding, so he traveled knowing he wouldn’t come home.
“The week we left to the Solomon Islands I had no return flight booked home due to lack of funding. So I travelled knowing I wasn’t coming home.” he said.
However, despite all the challenges, it was a triumphant and fulfilling moment in the end as he took Gold in his division. He fought Tahitian Gabriel Dalphin in the final of the 81-86 kg division.
After winning his gold medal, Williams also carried Niue’s flag and joined the remaining Niue Team at the closing ceremony in the Solomon Islands.
At the end of the Pacific Games, Niue claimed one gold and one bronze medal with Samuel Singh in powerlifting.
Williams gold medal from the Pacific Games will be an added bonus to his bronze medal from the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
When asked what’s next for him?
He says there were talks of an Oceania Tournament next year in April so he might stay amateur and prepare for that.
“The feeling is fulfilling . This is everything I ever dreamed of doing , not only for myself but to also inspire the next generation.” he said.
He is thankful to God, his coaches, family and friends who helped fundraise for his travel to the Pacific Games and have supported him throughout his journey.
Williams is currently in Brisbane spending time with family and flies back to Auckland this weekend.