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Cook Islands sends eight-member team to Oceania Area Championships

Saturday 4 June 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Athletics, Sports

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Cook Islands sends eight-member team to Oceania Area Championships
Some of the national athletes to the Oceania Area Championships in Australia. Photo: SUPPLIED/22060316

Athletics Cook Islands is pleased to have a strong team of athletes heading off to Mackay Australia for the Oceania Area Championships starting next week on June 7.

The eight athletes who left Rarotonga yesterday are a mixture of sprint, throws and jumps from Senior to U18.

Athletics Cook Islands secretary Ruta Mave says some of the athletes are competing overseas for the first time and it will be a great learning experience for them.

With borders open and quarantine rules relaxed booking and organising the team to travel has been a challenge with new travel rules and declarations required for each country and the delay in receiving new passports has given the coaches and officials some worrying moments.

The athletes competing are Senior Men – Piritau Nga – Long jump, High jump, Triple jump, Edward Nga – High jump; U20 Elijah Poila – Shotput, Discus; U18 Lala Pasina – Shotput, Emma Paplii – Shotput, Discus, Anzia Tere – 100m, Maya Postrzygacz 800m, and Daniel Tolosa 100m, 200m, 400m. 

“Some of the athletes are only 15 years so they will be up against older more experienced competitors but having qualified for the older age group is an achievement in itself,” Mave said.

“Similarly, for Piri who reaches the Senior age the day before competition starts.”

Coaches Michael Tolosa, Teaea Parima and Mave will accompany the team.

The Oceania Championships Athletics was formed in 1969 after the IAAF (now World Athletics) amended its constitution to allow for Continental Area Associations. The first meeting of OAA, was held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea alongside the third South Pacific Games. It was not until 1990, however, that the OAA conducted its inaugural Area Championships in Athletics in Suva, Fiji. Rarotonga was host in 2014.

“These Championships, for both senior athletes and those under 20 years of age, were enormously successful and demonstrated quite clearly the need for regional competition to support the development of the sport,” Mave said.

“Since the first edition of the Championships, the event has grown, and adapted throughout the years to the needs of the Oceania Federations. The 2019 edition in Townsville was the largest to date, and included three age groups, as well Para, Masters and Kids’ athletics. The Cook Islands U20 men’s 4x100m relay team claimed bronze at this event and this year’s athletes have their sights on competing against the other island nations to achieve their best too.”

Meanwhile Mave thanked sponsors Stonefish Studio from Aitutaki for their uniform.

Updates on performances and live stream links will be available on the Athletics Cook Islands and Track and Field club websites.