Waiwai: We can’t take all athletes

Sports

By ROBINSON LEKA
TEAM Papua New Guinea chef de mission Emma Waiwai says limited funding and a stringent justification process have resulted in some sports missing out on next month’s Pacific Games.
She confirmed that PNG would not participate in badminton, lawn bowls and triathlon in Apia, Samoa. The Games will be held from July 7-20.
Waiwai also confirmed that three teams — men’s rugby sevens, men’s canoeing and women’s volleyball — would not be part of contingent following their appeals with the Papua New Guinea Olympic Committee’s justification committee.
“We wanted to take all our athletes but unfortunately, we can’t because of funding issues,” she said yesterday.
“We also have a selection criteria in place. Each sport must meet the criteria to make it to the Games.”
Waiwai said each sport was responsible for using the four-year cycle in between the Games to justify why they should send athletes or teams to Apia.
“Each sport is asked to provide us a selection criteria for sending athletes to international games,” she said.
“Apart from that, PNGOC has a selection criteria as well. So when a sport comes before the justification committee, they have to meet their own criteria as well as ours.
“If they can’t meet this, then it’s hard for us to endorse them to go.
“Team PNG decided on these games that we will support those athletes or teams who we know are going to go and win medals.
“So each sport had to tell us why they were going to win the medals.
“The appeal process with the justification committee has ended and so at this stage, we’ve got 24 teams going. All the teams are primed and ready to go.”
PNGOC are likely to send a contingent of around 480 people — comprising of athletes and officials. The team leave for Apia next week.
PNG won 88 gold, 69 silver and 60 bronze to top the medal tally at the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby. New Caledonia finished second with 59 gold, 50 silver and 57 bronze.

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