With less than forty days to the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games, five more athletes have been confirmed to represent Team PNG next month.
With the two Sailing, siblings of Teariki Numa and Rose-Lee Numa already qualified, that brings seven athletes confirmed to attend the Olympic Games in Tokyo from 23 July to 8 August 2021.
The latest athletes to be confirmed include Weightlifters Dika Toua and Morea Baru, lone Papua New Guinea (PNG) Boxing contender John Ume along with Swimmers Judith Meauri and Ryan Maskelyne.
PNG’s veteran weightlifter and Commonwealth gold medalist, Dika Toua secured her place on merit and will create history by being the first female Weightlifter to participate at five (5) Olympic Games.
Fellow Weightlifter and Commonwealth Games Silver medalist, Morea Baru also qualified on merit through the Oceania continental placing. Both were the top ranked athletes in their respective categories in the Oceania region when the qualification period ended on 11 June 2021.
Dika will be competing in the Women’s 49kg division and is scheduled to compete on Saturday 24 July whilst Morea will be competing on Sunday 25 July in the Men’s 61kg division.
Both are currently in training under their longtime coach Paul Coffa’ at the new Oceania Weightlifting Institute in Melbourne, since leaving PNG in May this year.
Weightlifting is now the second PNG sport to have qualified their athletes through the continental quota, apart from sailing which already have PNG sibling sailors Te’Ariki and Rose Numa-Lee who will be competing in the Men’s Laser and Women’s Laser Radial events respectively at the Olympics.
The Laser competition will take place out at the Enoshima Yacht Harbor beginning on Sunday 25 July, and will have five race days before the final on 1 August 2021.
PNG’s Boxing contender and Pacific Games Gold Medalist, John Ume is the fifth athlete to have been confirmed this week after he was offered a tripartite invitation place to participate at the Tokyo Olympic Games in the Men’s Light (57-63kg) weight division.
Tripartite invitation places are only offered to certain individual sports and events (one per event) and is only available to ninety-two other National Olympic Committees of which PNG is one.
The International Olympic Committee Tripartite Commission in consultation with the respective International Federations makes the decision on who will be offered a tripartite invitation place based on past performances.
Swimming also confirmed their two athletes to take up the Universality Placings with current Olympian Judith Meauri selected for the female universality place and Ryan Maskelyne selected for the male universality place.
Universality places are offered to National Olympic Committee’s (NOC) that do not have athletes qualify on merit.
Meauri will compete in the women’s 50m freestyle event and is currently on a Fédération internationale de natation (FINA) swimming scholarship in Thailand, and will travel directly to Tokyo from Thailand.
She is scheduled to swim on Friday 30 July. Maskelyne will become the latest Olympian and he will compete in the Men’s 200m Breaststroke on Tuesday 27 July. He is currently based in Brisbane, Australia and recently competed in the Australian Olympic Swim Trials where he finished 9th clocking 2:17.14
Athletics will have one athlete be part of Team PNG through the Universality Placing and it is a tight race between Toea Wisil and Rellie Kaputin. Wisil is currently competing in USA and will be looking to improve on her recent times in the 100m whilst Kaputin who is based in Australia will also be looking to improve on her jumps this week in the Long Jump event.
Athletics PNG will confirm their selected athlete for the Universality Place based on the top ranked athlete on the World Athletics World Rankings as per their selection criteria.
Currently in Monaco to participate in the Women’s World Rugby Sevens Repechage tournament from 19-20 June are the PNG Rugby 7s Women Team who will be looking to string some strong performances to advance past the pool stages.
The PNG Rugby 7s Women’s team are optimistic of their chances to make it to the final and finish in the top two out of twelve nations to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
A proud Team PNG’s Chef de Mission Tamzin Wardley to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics congratulated the Weightlifters for qualifying on merit as well as John Ume, Ryan Maskelyne and Judith Meauri who were granted tripartite invitation place and universality places respectively.