First Team PNG contingent in Tokyo

Team PNG management and boxer, John Ume, and his coach Mark Keto, arrived in Tokyo late Sunday afternoon.

The management team will be setting up the PNG headquarters in preparation for the other seven athletes who will be arriving over the next few days.

Chef de Mission, Tamzin Wardley, stated: “All travel is difficult during these COVID times but the trip was especially challenging due to the airlines’ required longer check in processes, pre-flight COVID tests and isolation in protected areas during long transit stops.

“It was quite an unusual experience to transit the usually busy Singapore Changi airport and see all the closed shops and restaurants.

“The Games are being held in a bubble to ensure the safety of the athletes and officials taking part and the people of Japan.

“We had to also go through a 5-hour process of COVID testing and setting up of contact tracing before we were finally released to the buses to transport us to the Games Village, another hour away from Narita airport.

“Japan relies heavily on technology to trace the impact of COVID and we had to download a number of contact tracing and health apps, so that we can be monitored throughout our stay in Tokyo.

“The management team have got straight into setting up the small Team PNG office from where we will manage our athletes throughout our stay.

“We are looking forward to our medical team arriving tomorrow as they will not just be looking after the welfare of our athletes on the sporting field but will also conduct our required daily COVID testing.”

Wardley confirmed that there have been a small number of reported cases of residents of the Games Village, from other countries, testing positive for COVID-19. 

“They have been placed into immediate isolation,” she said.

“Team PNG is abiding by all the protocols in place, including wearing masks fulltime, avoiding contact with other teams, and have started the daily testing regime.

“Of course, we are all vaccinated as well, so we remain focused on preparing for the opening ceremony on Friday and our actual competitions.”

Press release