Pacific Games | SPORTS

Aust, NZ for Games

Australia and New Zealand will be able to compete in some sports at the Pacific Games in Port Moresby next year. The decision has been announced by the Pacific Games
04 Jul 2014 12:33

The Games Village for the 2015 Pacific Games under construction in Port Moresby. Australia and New Zealand will compete in some sports in Papua New Guinea. Photo: Anasilini Ratuva

Australia and New Zealand will be able to compete in some sports at the Pacific Games in Port Moresby next year.
The decision has been announced by the Pacific Games Council, the governing body for the event.
The two countries will be allowed to enter the rugby sevens, weightlifting, sailing and taekwondo competitions.
Pacific Games Council chairman Vidhya Lakhan says these sports have been chosen because teams from the Pacific can match Australia and New Zealand in them.
He says the inclusion of Australia and New Zealand will improve the quality of the Pacific Games.
“Let’s invite them, let’s play with them, let’s trial and see how things develop,” Mr Lakhan told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat programme.
“If it doesn’t work it doesn’t work. But if it works, or if we have to tweak a bit here and there and make some changes, then let’s proceed that way.”
Mr Lakhan says a review will be carried out after the 2015 event to decide if the trial is successful.
Top sports administrators from around the region are meeting in Port Moresby this week to discuss the future of the Pacific Games.
MrLakhan says the main agenda item is debating whether to change the Pacific Games to the Continental Games of Oceania.
The main benefit is that it would bring the Games under the International Olympic Committee (IOC) banner.
“The resources of the IOC are quite considerable and there’s no way we can match that,” Mr Lakhan said.
But many Pacific countries, including Fiji and Papua New Guinea, oppose the move.
Currently the Pacific is the only region in the Olympic family that doesn’t have a continental competition.
In future, a Continental Games could provide opportunities for athletes and teams to qualify for world championships, Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games. – ABC
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