Team PNG qualifications for Tokyo 2020

Team PNG qualifications for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have had a mixed result so far in November.

Marie Keneke competed at the Oceania Judo Open Championships held in Perth, Australia, 3 to 4 November, in the 78+kg category. Keneke fought Russian athlete Kseniia Chibisora, ranked 14th in the World, in the Pool D round.

Keneke lost the bout but did enough to earn sufficient ranking points to obtain a qualification spot in the Continental Quota system. 

Keneke now has to hold onto that spot until the ranking system closes at the end of May 2020 to book her seat on the plane to Tokyo. Judo coach Patrick Mahon is confident that she can retain her qualification spot but to do this, she must continue to participate in ranking events.

The Rugby 7’s men and women’s teams competed in the Oceania Rugby 7’s qualifiers in Suva over the weekend of 8 November. The women’s team, the Palais, came 4th overall, losing to New Zealand in the bronze match playoff. However, their result qualified the team through to the final repechage event to be held – one month before the Olympics – in Biarritz, France, in June next year. 

The men’s team came 5th and did not qualify through to the repechage event.

Shooter Danny Wanma competed at the Oceania Championships in the men’s trap event in Sydney and was unable to make the required qualifying score. 

Wanma has two further opportunities in 2020 to obtain the required score. He must compete at two qualifying events that include the Shotgun World Cup in Cyprus and the Rifle, Pistol and Shotgun World Cup in India.

PNG’s highest ranked tennis player Abigail Tere-Apisah has recommenced on the tennis pro-circuit following a well-earned rest after her medal winning performances at the Samoa Pacific Games. She competed at her first tournaments in Thailand, playing through to the main rounds before being knocked out.

Tere-Apisah now turns her attention towards the 2020 Australian Open Asia/Pacific Wildcard Playoff in Zhuhai, China, where she received a wild card entry into the main draw. The winner of this tournament that will take place from 3-8 December 2019 will receive a wildcard entry into the Main Draw of the 2020 Australia Open Grand Slam Event.

Chef de Mission Tamzin Wardley stated that PNG’s athletes will continue to compete for qualification over the festive period, with Steven Kari competing at his third qualifier in Tianjin, China, during December and the top two laser sailors, Teariki Numa and Rose Lee Numa, have been granted places to compete in the World Laser Championships in Melbourne in the new year, to attempt qualification.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will take place from July 24 – August 9, 2020.

(Team PNG file picture)

Press release