PNG eyeing bigger Paralympic contingent for Tokyo: Pulu

Sports

Papua New Guinea’s team for next year’s Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan, is eyeing a bigger participation following the Games’ deferral over the Covid-19 pandemic.
Para-athletes’ coaching coordinator Peter Pulu said the postponement of the Games to next year gave a wider time frame for PNG to prepare and qualify para-athletes for the tournament.
Pulu made special mention of Nellie Leva (javelin) and Morea Mararos (seated javelin), two para-athletes who had qualified earlier this year.
“Before the state of emergency (SOE), things were running really well, two of our athletes qualified, Nellie and Morea,” he told The National last week.
“But since the Games have been postponed, we have a chance to get at least one or two more qualified.
“With the SOE now lifted, we’re working towards getting our other athletes prepared so that they can have a chance to qualify.
“It’s going to be a good opportunity for them to get ready, so that they are at their best and they can be confident going into their qualifiers.”
Pulu said on top of the extended time to prepare, the recent funding of A$250,000 (K591,000) from the Australian govvernment to the PNG Olympic Committee had offered extra help to send more athletes out to prepare and qualify for the Olympics and Paralympics.
“I think it’s a big bonus for all of us and for all sports in the country because we have at least a year from now to get ourselves organised with the funding from the Australian government,” he said.
“All our athletes have a good chance and our preparations are really looking good now.
“Our athletes and their coaches will not worry too much on how they will be going and the costs involved in their lead-up meets and qualifiers.”

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