By ISAAC LIRI
THE Team PNG contingent to the 2017 Pacific Mini Games in Port Vila, Vanuatu, will be smaller than the previous mini games in Wallis and Futuna in 2013.
Team PNG’s chief of delegation Emma Waiwai said they would travel with a team of 160 and take part in 11 of the 14 sporting codes on offer.
“Team PNG will be taking a smaller contingent compared to the last mini games due to couple of reasons,” Waiwai said.
“Every team we are sending, we want them to go and win medals and it’s not about exposure.
“The thing is that we might be criticised if we don’t come on top like in the last games in 2013. That’s at the back of our mind so we had to be quite specific in the teams we send and make sure they win medals.
“The second reason we haven’t received enough support from the government like we did in the last mini games.”
Finishing first in the last games, Team PNG used the 2013 mini games as a lead up for the 2015 Pacific Games. For this year, Team PNG athletes will also use the games as lead up for other big sporting events.
“Many of our athletes that will be taking part in the mini games will be using it as preparation and lead up to the Commonwealth Games in April next year and the 2019 Pacific Games,” Waiwai said.
“PNG will be taking part in athletics, basketball 3×3, boxing, beach volleyball, golf, karate, netball, rugby sevens, table tennis, tennis and weightlifting.”
PNG Football Association was given the opportunity to reconsider their decision and nominate athletes, however they decided not to do so.
Judo failed to submit the requested information and did not have a representative at a meeting with the PNG Olympic Committee’s justification committee.
Waiwai acknowledged the corporate houses who have been very supportive to Team PNG in participation of games abroad regardless of the downturn in the economy.
“I am sure we’re going to get more support from the corporate houses before we travel to the mini games,” she added.
By ISAAC LIRI