Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM to Oceania Track & Field Championship in Australia

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM INFORMATION SERVICE), November 22, 1996 - The Federated States of Micronesia will be sending a thirteen member delegation to the 1996 Oceania Track and Field Championship in Townsville, Australia from November 28-30, 1996, according to Jim Tobin, FSM National Government Sports Director.

Other Pacific islands competing in the Oceania Track and Field Championships are American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Norfolk Island, Guam, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Northern Marianas, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Tonga, Vanuatu and Western Samoa.

The costs of airfare, ground transportation, meals, housing and uniforms were provided by the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) - the international governing body for track and field - and the Australian Embassy in Pohnpei. The FSM became a member of the IAAF last February, according to Tobin. Only members of the IAAF were invited to the championships.

All four FSM states will be represented in the FSM delegation. Members of the FSM track and field team are: Jim Tobin, FSM team manager; Ted Rutun, Yap Head Coach; Phil Ching, Pohnpei Assistant Manager/Coach; Elias Rodriquez, Pohnpei Team Captain and will run in the 5,000 meter run and marathon; Detrickson Anson, Pohnpei - 100 meter dash and 200 meter dash; Eneriko Ardos, Pohnpei, - 800 meter run; Rendy Germinaro, Pohnpei - 10,000 meter run and half marathon; Rita Epina, Pohnpei - 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash, and high jump; Peter Jackson, Kosrae - 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash, discus, and long jump; Gifford Aloka, Kosrae - 400 meter run and 800 meter run; Marno Kiwito, Chuuk - 100 meter dash (under 20); Mario Tawrelur, Yap - discus; and Pius Matman, Yap - 5,000 meter run (under 20).

The FSM track and field team will leave Pohnpei on Thursday morning, November 21st, on Air Nauru and return on Tuesday, December 3rd. Tobin stated that he knows the athletes have been training very hard and will be competitive in Australia. He also stated that it will be hard for any of the small Pacific nations to win a medal since Australia and New Zealand are participating. Lastly, Tobin wanted to especially thank the Australian Embassy for their financial and moral support.

The FSM Amateur Sports Association has joined 8 international sports federations according to Tobin. The FSM is affiliated to the international sports governing bodies in basketball, baseball, softball, track and field, lawn tennis, table tennis, volleyball, and weight lifting. The FSM hopes to join the International Olympic Committee in 1998. By becoming a member, according to Tobin, the FSM will receive over $150,000 worth of sports grants for off-island training of elite athletes and coaches, sports equipment, and athlete, coach and referee/umpire workshops within the FSM. Participating in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games will not cost the FSM money. The entire cost of airfare, accommodations, and equipment will be provided by the International Olympic Committee.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356