Over 300 PNG athletes ready for battle

Three-hundred-and-sixty-three PNG athletes will gather at the Apia Park Stadium in four days’ time, all set to represent the 8-and-a-half million people of PNG at the 16th Pacific Games.

Chef de Mission, Emma Waiwai, says these athletes are primed, fit and ready to battle it out with the best of the best.

“Four years have seen our athletes sacrifice their comfort zones and their family time to prepare for these games,” Waiwai said at the Team PNG farewell function yesterday evening in Port Moresby.

“Each athlete going is the best for each sport.

“Being a part of this journey, I know many have had to overcome so many obstacles because their focus was to not only make their respective teams, but to be the best that they can be and come out victorious.

“I know the million dollar question that everyone will be asking is: ‘Will team PNG be number one as we were in 2015?’ As the head of delegation, I want to ask the question: ‘Have our athletes been provided the best resources as they did prior to 2015?’”

Waiwai further expressed her confidence in this year’s team, adding PNG will be participating in 25 of the 28 sports on offer.

The participating codes are:

  1. Archery
  2. Athletics (para events as well)
  3. Basketball
  4. Beach Volleyball
  5. Boxing
  6. Cricket
  7. Football
  8. Golf
  9. Judo
  10. Netball
  11. Powerlifting
  12. Rugby 7s
  13. Rugby League 9s
  14. Sailing
  15. Shooting
  16. Squash
  17. Swimming
  18. Table Tennis (para events as well)
  19. Taekwondo
  20. Tennis
  21. Triathlon
  22. Touch Rugby
  23. Va’a (women only)
  24. Volleyball
  25. Weightlifting

Meantime, the first group of athletes and officials will depart PNG for Samoa this Thursday ahead of the Opening Ceremony, which will be held on Sunday.

(Weightlifting team with champion lifter Steven Kari yesterday at the farewell function)

Carmella Gware