Reason for Nauru’s Mini Games absence now known, OFC draw being made this week, and call for return of Samoa’s sport incentive
Covid outbreak ruins Nauru medal hunt
Nauru was forced to pull out of the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022 at the 11th hour after the discovery of a Covid-19 outbreak on the island.
Pacific Games Council CEO Andrew Minogue said Nauru informed the council that they were pulling out of the Games the same day the opening ceremony was held.
“Their charter flight was cancelled due to their first-ever COVID-19 outbreak,” he said.
Nauru was supposed to send its 35-strong delegation to the 10-day sporting event.
However, during the parade of nations on June 17 at the Oleai Sports Complex, the country was absent as only a flagbearer represented Nauru.
Henry Fa’arodo to make OFC Champions League draw
The eight football teams competing for the Oceania Champions League are now known following the final series of play-offs.
Fiji’s Rewa FC, Papua New Guinea’s Lae City FC, Solomon Islands’ Central Coast FC, Tahiti’s AS Vénus and Vanuatu’s Galaxy FC all qualified via their National Playoffs at the weekend.
They are joined by Hienghène Sport of New Caledonia, Nikao Sokattak FC from the Cook Islands, and nine-time winners Auckland City FC of New Zealand.
Confirmed dates and locations for the Champions League will be announced at a later date.
OFC Competitions Director Chris Kemp will be assisted in making the draw by former Solomon Islands international Henry Fa’arodo on Thursday.
Call for expansion of Samoa’s financial incentive
The head of the Samoa Weightlifting Federation has called on the government to revive a scheme giving financial rewards to athletes who win medals at regional sports events as well as international ones.
TV1Samoa reports Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork made the call after Team Samoa returned this week from the Pacific Mini Games in Saipan.
The weightlifters returned with six gold and three silver taking the Team Samoa tally to 21, with eight golds, five silver, and eight bronze medals.
The previous government had introduced financial incentives for sports people to win gold at the Commonwealth and Olympics Games.
The scheme is still in place but Tuaopepe would like to see it made available to regional competitions as well.
He said this would be an incentive for athletes to improve their performances for future competitions.
Citizen issue could affect PNG basketball team
A cloud hangs over the citizenship status some of PNG’s top basketballers, as the side gears up for the Melanesian Games in October.
A number of players who played for PNG at the previous Melanesian Games have since become fully-fledged Australian citizens.
Head coach Ray Borner says the upcoming PNG election could determine their eligibility.
Mr Borner says they’re looking at what the process is going to be to get some of these players back in the PNG team.