The National, Wednesday 01st Febuary 2012
PAPUA New Guinea’s chances of participating at the Olympic Games lie in the men’s beach volleyball teams’ performance in Auckland, New Zealand, next month.
PNG will be taking on New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Samoa and Vanuatu in the Asian Volleyball Confederation beach volleyball cup.
The event is the second round of the Olympic qualification tournament for the Oceania region.
The top two teams from the tournament will progress to the third and final round later in China, to determine entry into the London Olympics in July.
PNG’s Team One will feature 2011 Pacific Games duo Moha Mea and Manly Kapa, while VAVA’s Ravu Mahuru and Gerea Kila will pair up as Team Two.
Ake Walo, who shone for Tatana Araira in last November’s National Volleyball Championships, has earned a spot as a replacement player.
Walo will also team up with Mea in the Mt Maunganui International Series which is a separate tournament. It will be held in Auckland a week earlier.
The Mt Maunganui International Series will feature world-ranked beach players from Germany, Norway, Sweden, Great Britain, Vanuatu and Netherlands and should give our teams a strong lead-up to the main event.
“Our men have been training intensively under coach Kila Dick for the past two weeks.
“All are elite indoor volleyball players so the focus of the training program has been on transition from indoor to beach, which is very much the same but differs in certain rules; the most obvious being the playing surface and number of players.
“The contingent, which includes five players and two officials, will depart for Auckland on next Wednesday,” PNG Volleyball Federation president Turaho Morea said.
“This is an opportunity for PNG to increase their participation in the Olympic Games so I invite business houses to get behind the PNG men’s beach volleyball team.”
Anyone willing to provide support can contact Morea on 325 4393 or 722 63373.