By HENRY MORABANG
THE PNG Weightlifting Federation has nominated 17 lifters to take part in the 2010 Oceania Weightlifting championships in Suva, Fiji, next month.
The May 4-7 event has attracted 165 lifters from 17-member countries, including Australia and New Zealand.
The championships will mark the 30th Oceania Weightlifting Federation (OWF) anniversary, with the biggest Oceania championships ever held in our 30-year history.
According to an email from OWF’s Paul Coffa, the confirmed list from PNG includes weightlifting siblings Steven and Rita Kari who will lead the PNG contingent.
The PNG team:
Men – Andrew Kari, no relation to the above Karis, (50kg), Morea Baru, Fred Oala and Ignatius Morea (56kg), Toua Boe, Lahui Morea (62kg) and Steven Kari (69kg).
Women – Seura Samuel (44kg), Kathleen Hale, Geua Baru, Koi Gele (48kg), Hitolo Dogodo, Raniunu Samuel, Mairi Ovia (53kg), Rita Kari, Monalisa Kassman and Sandra Ako (58kg) and Gube Hale (69kg).
Coffa, who is the OWF secretary general, said this event was special as it would serve as the Olympic Youth qualification event for the inaugural Olympic Youth Games in Singapore in August.
The countries who finish in the top four in the Youth championships for men will send one lifter each to compete at the Olympic Youth Games.
In the women’s, the countries who finish in the top three will send one lifter each.
Coffa said all the Pacific region’s top lifters would use the Oceania championships in Fiji as a valuable test event in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in October. With four weeks to go, the organising committee in Fiji is well prepared under the chairmanship of Dr. Robin Mitchell, to stage what will be the biggest event in the 30-year existence of the OWF.
The International Weightlifting Federation will be sending two officials from Budapest, Hungary, to assist with the running of this major event.
Countries which will take part are: Australia, New Caledonia, Tahiti, New Zealand, Niue, Tonga, Cook Islands, Wallis & Futuna, American Samoa, Samoa, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, and of course Fiji.