Elite Athletes Awarded Scholarships

The International Olympic Committee has awarded scholarships to five PNG elite athletes from various sporting codes towards assisting them qualify and compete at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The five athletes are; Morea Baru (Weightlifting), Rellie Kaputin and Sharon Toako (Athletics) and Ryan Maskelyne (Swimming).

This scholarship aims to assist the athletes with their quest of qualifying and competing at the Paris2024 Olympic Games.

The duration of the Scholarship will run from January 2022 through to the Paris2024 Olympic Games in August 2024 and can cover costs associated with preparing to qualify for Paris2024.

These include training costs, competition costs, coaching costs and attending competitions and Olympic qualifiers.

The Papua New Guinea Olympic Committee (PNGOC) announced that five Team PNG Athletes were awarded individual Olympic Athlete Scholarships (OAS) under the IOC’s Olympic Solidarity program towards assisting athletes for Paris2024. 

The athletes were nominated for the scholarships based on PNGOC’s athlete tiering system policy and in consultation with their respective National Federations.

The International Olympic Committee and respective International Federations selects athletes for scholarships worldwide.

Below highlights the athletes’ performance international Games.

Morea Baru – Weightlifting (Men’s 61kg)

  • Participated at the Tokyo2020 Olympic Games
  • Gold medallist at the 2019 Pacific Games

Rellie Kaputin – Athletics (Women’s Long Jump)

  • Participated at the Tokyo2020 Olympic Games -Finished in the top 20 in Tokyo
  • Gold medallist at the 2019 Pacific Games

John Ume – Boxing (Men’s 63.5kg)

  • Participated at the Tokyo2020 Olympic Games
  • Gold medallist at the 2019 Pacific Games

Sharon Toako – Athletics (Women’s Javelin)

  • Gold medallist at the 2019 Pacific Games

Ryan Maskelyne – Swimming (Men’s 200m Breaststroke)

  • Participated at the Tokyo2020 Olympic Games
  • Silver medallist at the 2019 Pacific Games

A delighted PNGOC President, Sir John Dawanincura said this was great news for PNG’s five athletes in qualifying for the Paris2024 Olympic Games.

“This Olympic Athlete Scholarship will greatly support them to pursue their dream of competing at the Paris2024 Olympic Games. Their preparations are already underway with Ryan and Morea in Australia and we’re looking to have Rellie and Sharon join their respective coaches in Australia,” said Sir John.

He said these athletes can concentrate fully on training and preparing for the upcoming Games which include the Pacific Mini Games in Saipan in June, the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in July and the Pacific Games in the Solomon Islands in late 2023 and the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024.

Sir John also acknowledged the organisation’s Team PNG Performance Strategy 2021-2024 in this new strategic term as it ensures that the athletes, coaches and National Federations have adequate support in preparing for the respective Games.

He said the PNGOC along with Olympic Solidarity ensured there was gender balance in the awarding of the scholarship to two females and three males.

“The PNGOC and the IOC is all about gender equality and have ensured that we support both genders equally.”    

Weightlifter, Morea Baru said, “I am honoured, and I know this Scholarship will help me for the preparations towards the Game's especially to qualify for the Olympic Games and the lead up competitions.”

Ryan Maskelyne, said he feels very lucky to be receiving this scholarship and this means that a great deal of pressure will be taken off and allows him to concentrate on his swimming.

“It will go a long way in assisting me in my preparation for the Paris Olympics where I hope to make PNG proud.”

Susan Oreape