Pacific athletes

Netball Australia to work closely with emerging Pacific athletes

The netball body has announced a new-three-year agreement as part of the Australian Government’s PacificAus Sports programme.

It will work with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to support the development of pathways for athletes from Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

Netball Australia interim CEO Ron Steiner said he is delighted the organisation can continue to lead the charge in helping to develop netball in the Pacific.

Pacific athletes urged to get vaccinated

The Summer Games are scheduled to begin on 23 July, after being delayed by 12 months because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The International Olympic Committee said vaccination is "encouraged" but not compulsory for athletes.

Guam, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, American Samoa, Australia and New Zealand have begun vaccination programs in recent months.

Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) President, Dr Robin Mitchell, said if athletes had the option of receiving the vaccine they should take it.

Pacific athletes back Olympic postponement

After weeks of denying the Covid-19 pandemic would disrupt the Games scheduled for July, the International Olympic Committee finally announced they would reschedule to 2021.

Tongan Pita Taufatofua, who rose to fame with a shirtless entrance at the 2016 Olympic Games and competed in the 2018 Winter Olympics in cross-country skiing, qualified in taekwondo this month.

He had one final chance to also qualify in kayaking in May, in a bid to become the first person this century to compete in three different Olympic sports.

Fiji hosts Oceania Athletics Championships

Oceania Athletics executive director Yvonne Mullins indicated this to the healthy growth of athletics in the Oceanic region.

"Six hundred and seventeen athletes are here and this is our largest Oceania championships," Mullins said.

"The sport is alive and well in the Oceania region and the best are here.

"So if the best are here that means we got a far broader participation base out there. We are growing."

On the same note, Oceania Athletics president Geoff Gardner said they like to see their sport (athletics) as a sport that fed other sports.

Pacific athletes underway at Rio Paralympics

RNZ reports Papua New Guinea's Joyleen Jeffrey ran a season best time in the women's 100m T12 event at the Olympic Stadium.

The 26 year old finished third in her heat in 15.33 seconds but failed to qualify for the semi finals.

Jeffrey, who is also entered in the 200m event, was the slowest of the 11 athletes to complete the race, while one competitor from Ukraine was disqualified and a Frenchwoman failed to start.

Fiji's Merewalesi Roden was beaten in straight sets, 11-2 11-3 11-5, by Young-A Jung from South Korea in the Class 5 women's table tennis singles.