By ROBINSON LEKA
AFTER a year of setbacks in preparations, Papua New Guinea’s Paralympic team is set to travel this week with the opening ceremony to take place on Tuesday in Tokyo, Japan.
Team PNG will have contingent of four with para-athletes Nellie Leva (javelin) and Morea Morea Maroros (seated javelin), and coach Jacklyn Travertz and chef de mission Susan Sere.
Travertz told The National that the journey to Tokyo for Leva and Maroros was a tough one with setbacks in training and competition due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
“We‘ve come a long way since 2017, when the two of them started competing internationally and it’s good to see them continue with their training,” she said.
“It’s good to see them out there competing and we’re proud of the road they’ve taken to represent PNG in the Paralympic Games.
“When the pandemic hit last year, it was hard to train as we could only do so much with most of the training venues closed.
“We we’re doing our own training at home. “When the venues opened this year, we had about seven months of training back at the venues. “It was a struggle for everyone especially the athletes but I’m glad that they’ve persevered with an eye on competing in Tokyo.”
Travertz said the events for both athletes were scheduled for the first week of September with the focus on gaining experience and achieving personal bests.
“Maroros will be going up against some of the world’s best, so we’ll be there to gain experience and hopefully smash our personal bests.
“We’ll definitely be bringing back that experience and hopefully we’ll fight for a medal for the country.
“Maroros and Leva will be competing on Sept 1 and Sept 3 respectively.
“We are scheduled to return to the country on Sept 4.”
By ROBINSON LEKA