17 to rep Melanesia in Oceania Cup

With less than a month to go for the Oceania Cup, Oceania Athletics have announced the teams heading to Oleai Stadium in Saipan, Northern Marianas for the two-day event on June 23rd and 24th.

Thirteen PNG athletes have been selected for the 17 strong Melanesian team that will compete against Micronesia, Polynesia, Australia and host, Northern Marianas.

The Oceania Cup has been brought back into the calendar in Oceania to align with the Oceania and World Athletics strategic plan to create more international competition opportunities for the athletes in the region.

Previous editions of the Oceania Cup have been held in Vanuatu , Samoa and Australia. Saipan was chosen this year as it has the best facility in the Pacific Islands.

The competition will include 12 Gold Medallist from 2022 Mini Games, coming back to Saipan. The Micronesian team will be headlined by Olympians Regine Tugade-Watson and Scott Fiti.

The sprinters are both multiple representatives at World and Oceania Level, and multiple medallists at the Micronesian Games in 2018. The Melanesian team will see a changing of the guard in the sprint ranks, with Leroy Kamau and Leonie Beu securing their places with fast times in the USA this year.

The Polynesian team sees Area Champion in the Shot Put, Atamaama Tuutafaiva leading the team. She has recently moved to Auckland to be coached by Oceania’s greatest athlete, Dame Valerie Adams, and will be looking for a strong showing in Saipan. World Championships representative for French Polynesia Herieti Bernardino will be the women’s sprints, whilst Olympian from Tuvalu Karalo Maibuca will be in the men’s sprints. 

The Australian team will see an emerging group of athletes make the journey to Saipan. 

Some Member Federations have taken the opportunity to send extra athletes to Saipan, in preparation for the Pacific Games in Honiara and PNG has added sprinter Pais Wisil to the list.

Athletics PNG President Tony Green said it was a great achievement for PNG to have so many athletes selected for the team and this reflects not only our strong showing at recent Pacific Games but our ongoing programmes and consistent performances. 

Coach Brett Green and team manageress Sharon Atuai have also been recognised for their hard work by being selected by Oceania AA to look after the Melanesia team.

Loop Sports