Eight athletes to represent PNG at Rio Olympics

first_imgThe event will be from August 5 to 21.Since the closure of the qualification period for athletes in late last month (June), PNG has qualified eight athletes to participate in different sporting events in the 2016 Rio Olympics.In athletics, 28-year-old PNG’s sprint queen – also known as the Sprint Queen of the Pacific – Toea Wisil, will make her second appearance in the Olympic Games since 2012. She will compete in the 100m and 200m sprint whilst 23-year-old youngster Theo Piniau will make his first appearance to compete in the men’s 200m and 400m event.   The third PNG athlete to qualify for Rio was 31-year-old Papua New Guinean Judoka and veteran Raymond Ovinou, who will make his second Olympic appearance to compete in the 66kg judo title.Ovinou made his first appearance at the 2012 Summer Olympics where he competed in the men’s 66kg. However, he was defeated in the second round. At the 2014 Commonwealth Games, he reached the last 16.The fourth PNG athlete to make it to Rio is 26-year-old male weightlifter and Pacific Games gold medalist, Morea Baru. The young PNG weightlifter will make his first appearance in the Olympics to compete in the men’s 62kg.The fifth athlete is PNG’s boxing champion and the first to claim gold at the youth games, Thadius Katua. He qualified to compete in the 60kg lightweight division.The sixth PNG athlete is 34-year-old Papua New Guinea’s ‘super fish’ and three-time PNG Olympian, Ryan Pini. Pini will compete in his specialised events: 50m butterfly and 100m butterfly.The final two athletes are the Kassmans, who qualified to participate in taekwondo – Samantha Kassman and Maxemillion Kassman.Samantha earned a silver medal at the 2015 Pacific Games and this year had qualified for her first appearance in the 2016 Olympics after earning the spot uncontested. The four anticipated competitors in her division did not arrive to compete. Samantha will compete in the female +67kg.Meanwhile, Maxemillion will make his first appearance also in the male +80kg division in taekwondo.All eight PNG athletes have won berths to represent PNG in the 2016 Rio Olympics next month.last_img

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