Wantoks aim high at Games

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PAPUA New Guinea will have a strong presence at the Sydney World Masters Games in four sports – badminton, netball, touch rugby and women’s football.
The Oct 10-18 event has attracted thousands of international competitors making it the world’s largest multi-sporting event.
PNG will enter two teams in badminton in the 40-45 and 55-60 age groups.
Skipper James Voon of RH will captain the 40-45-year age group, which will be made up of three men and four women.
The other male players in this group are Mike Chan and Daniel Han, while the women are Maria Tan, Jenny Chow, Jenny Ang and Nellie Goh.
The second badminton team for the 55-60 years age group comprise captain Brian Gomez, Joe Choong and David Tan, all from PNG, while May Gomez and three other Melbourne women make up the women’s team. 
Each team will play nine games – three men’s doubles, three ladies doubles and three mixed doubles.
The two PNG teams have adopted the name PNG Wantoks and will be flying the PNG flag during the games. 
After the team event, most of the players will compete in the individual competition in singles, doubles and mixed doubles between Oct 14 and 18 in their respective age categories.
Voon said his team was looking forward to the Masters Games and would do their best in their age group matches. 
The PNG Wantoks thanked RH for supporting the team at home and to the games.Badminton stands a good chance of winning a medal in the women’s singles in the individual events through Maria Tan, while the skipper Voon and Mike Chan are chances in the men’s competition.
In netball, NCD Public Servants Netball competition will send three teams – PNG Maoro (35-year age group), PNG Kiora (40+ age group) and PNG Black Pearls (45+ age group).
Speaking on behalf of the three teams, the Black Pearl captain Melveen Raga said they were prepared to put up a good show and hopefully produces some positive results.
The three teams have been in training camp for past three months and are ready to take on the challenges.
The touch football will represented by the senior women and men aged35 and over from the Touch Federation PNG, the Koki Seaside 35s and the Ariku Bay team.
The women’s football team, managed by Colleen McNamara, contains some former international players, who should give their opposition a good run for their money during the Masters Games.
The Games have attracted a record 28,292 competitors from 95 countries, with international participants accounting for 30% of the entry.