Pacific Games 2015 in Port Moresby
Kiribati NOC obtained funding for Kiribati participants in ten sports to travel to PNG for the 15th. Pacific Games, in Port Moresby. The Games opened on July 4th. and closed on July 18th. In the team sports of Basketball, Touch Football and Volleyball, Kiribati won only two out of 15 matches played, beating Solomons in M Volleyball and Nauru in M Basketball. They also had a few players in Tennis and Table-Tennis who only competed in preliminary rounds.
ATHLETICS in PNG.
In Athletics, David Birati had been sponsored for training for two months on Gold Coast with coach Glynis Nunn-Cearns. He performed quite well, although rather nervous and lacking confidence. In the MLong Jump he could not find the board consistently and had "no jumps" possibly over the milestone 7m., but eventually he jumped a reputable 6.43m. for 9th. place. In the MHigh Jump he almost matched his lifetime best of 1.95m., finishing with 1.94m. and 5th. place.
The other two KAA representatives were throwers. These were Ms. Teinnang Ueata who came 8th. in the WDiscus with 23.17m. and placed 9th. in the WShot with 9.12m. Itaaka Temwaka placed 10th. in MDiscus with 31.55m. and placed 7th. in the MShot with 10.83m.
MEDAL-WINNERS in PNG.
Once again the leading Kiribati sports were the individual events. In MBoxing, Andrew Kometa (Middleweight) gained the bronze when he won his QF on a TKO but narrowly lost his SF. In Taekwondo, Ms. Tokatake Mwemweata gained a bronze in the W73kg. category, and Nelson Tabaua also achieved bronze in the M74kg. group. In Power-lifting Nantei Nikora gained the silver. Finally, as previously, Weight-lifters produced the most podium finishes, with Taretita Tabaroua (77kg.) gaining two bronzes and Commonwealth champion David Katoatau (105kg.) all three gold in his category.
The overall results reflect the continuing and chronic difficulty there is in Kiribati for the team sports in trying to assemble, for a significant training period, enough players of a high enough standard to eventually produce a competitive team. Taking people out of work or school, problems of inter-island travel and expense, and giving squads enough high-quality opposition in advance are all factors which militate against high-performing teams. Occasional domestic competition is not enough.
David Katoatau with his 2014 Glasgow gold medal.
Itaaka in Cairns 2015.
David Birati (front left) in Cairns 2015.