FSM Attends 2011 Pacific Games
By Jim Tobin (Tuesday, August 30, 2011 from New Caledonia)
Palikir, Pohnpei: August 30, 2011 -The 14th Pacific Games, formally known as the South Pacific Games, are being held in Noumea, New Caledonia from August 27 to September 10, 2011. Twenty-two Pacific island nations and territories are competing in 28 sports with over 3,000 athletes. The FSM sent a small delegation 20 athletes, coaches and officials to compete in Athletics, Swimming, Weightlifting and Basketball. The FSM had hoped to send a larger delegation but the sports of Fast-Pitch Softball and Wrestling are not being held in these games August 31, 2011 - The FSM men's basketball team, coached by Daniel Palik, will begin play today with its first pool play game against Guam at 3.00pm. Guam is one of the men's basketball medal favorites winning the silver medal in the last two Pacific Games. The FSM men's team players are Kilafwa Palik (Co-Captain), Kelvin Simram (Co-Captain), Edy Niffon, Shrew Jerry, Harry Elley, Paul Hein, David Taulung, Kenneth Alokoa, Kelly Tobin, Tarrence Kibby, Horace Salik, Kezin Lotte Jr and assistant coach Jimmy Jack. The men's team trained in Kosrae for two months prior to departing to the games. On Wednesday, August 31 the FSM plays New Caledonia, Thursday, September 1 vs. Tahiti and finish pool play on Friday, September 2 vs. the Solomon Islands.
FSM weightlifter Manuel Minginfel will compete in the men's 62 kilogram weight division at 5.30pm on Monday, September 5. Minginfel will remain in New Caledonia after the games and continue to train at the Oceania Weightlifting Training Centre until to travels to Paris, France in November to compete in the 2011 IWF World Weightlifting Championships. At the championships, Minginfel hopes to qualify for the London Olympic Games. Johnathon Yuw, the other FSM weightlifter, will compete in weightlifting on Tuesday, September 6.
In Athletics (track and field), the FSM has only one athlete, John Howard from Chuuk. Howard will compete in the 100m sprint on Monday, September 5 and the 200m sprint on Wednesday, September 7. Howard arrived to the games late, after attending the IAAF Track and Field World Championships in Korea.
The 2011 Pacific Games closing ceremony will be held on Saturday, September 10. The FSM delegation returns home from New Caledonia on Monday September 12.