July 3, 2014

Micronesian Games 2014 Update

Sports Update: 2014 Micronesian Games Spear Fishing, Micronesian All-Around And Vaa (Outrigger Canoe)

Micronesian Games Update
POHNPEI, FSM (8th MicroGames Organizing Committee/The Kaselehlie Press, July 02, 2014) — This is the last article updating the status of the sports to be played at the 2014 Micro Games. The last few issues of KPress have updated Athletics (Track and Field), Swimming, Basketball, Wrestling, Weightlifting, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, Fast-Pitch Softball, Baseball and Football.

This article will update the sports to be played in the ocean. The sports are Spear Fishing, Micronesian All-Around and Va’a (Outrigger Canoe). The 8th Micronesian Games will be held on Pohnpei from July 20 – 30, 2014. Participating in the games is CNMI (Northern Marianas), Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau and the four Federated States of Micronesia states (Pohnpei, Kosrae, Chuuk and Yap).

There will be 14 sports on the games program including Athletics (Track and Field), Baseball, Basketball, Football (Soccer), Micronesian All-Around, Softball (Fast-Pitch), Spear Fishing, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Va’a (6- man outrigger canoe), Volleyball, Weightlifting and Wrestling. The 8th Micronesian Games Organizing Committee is chaired by Pohnpei Lt. Governor Marcelo K. Peterson. The CEO of the organizing committee is Bob Spegal. There are 11 sub-committees including the Sport Committee. The Sport Committee is chaired by Jim Tobin, with an estimated 500 volunteers and officials. There are 14 Competition Managers, one for each of the 14 sports on the game’s sports program: Rendy Germinaro Athletics Jose Joab Baseball Castro Joab Basketball Steve Finnen Football (Soccer) Mark Johnny Micronesian All-Around Donald David Va’a (Outrigger Canoe) Kingston Anson Softball (Fast-Pitch) Andy Musrasrik Spear Fishing Conrad Kohrs Swimming Roldan Laguerta Table Tennis Ray Garcia Tennis Nimrod Half Volleyball Ron Etscheit Weightlifting Mike Ioanis Wrestling The Competition Managers are in charge of coordinating each sport including: sports manuals and rules; technical meetings; final schedules; recruiting volunteers; training sport specific officials; and preparing the sport venue each day of the competition.

Spear Fishing
The Spear Fishing competition will be held from Monday, July 21 to Tuesday, July 22. The Competition Manager for Spear Fishing is Andy Musrasrik. The competition schedule is: July 21 Monday 8:00am – Depart Mangrove Bay 9:00am - Day 1 Competition (Individual Event) July 22 Tuesday 8:00am - Day 2 Competition (Team Event) 3:00pm - Medal Award Ceremony

The event is strictly a “Free Dive” underwater fishing competition. The objective is to catch and land the highest combined weight of fish. Individual Competition: The athlete with the heaviest total weight of fish caught and landed will be selected for the Gold medal, the second for the Silver medal, and the third for the Bronze Medal. The spear fishing competitors must not combine  their catch. Each individual must turn in his own catch. All competing countries must provide their own safety diver (1) throughout the competition. An alternate athlete may serve as a safety diver, but as noted above, no safety divers may assist a competitor in the capturing or landing of any fish. Team Competition: A team consists of two athletes representing an island. The team with the highest combined total weight of fish caught and landed by its two athletes and one alternate will be selected for the Gold Medal, the second for the Silver Medal and the third for the Bronze Medal. All competing countries must provide their own safety divers (2) throughout the competition. An alternate athlete may serve as safety diver, but as noted above, no safety divers my assist a competitor in the capturing or landing of any fish. Pohnpei, Chuuk, Kosrae, Marshall Islands, Guam, Palau, and Northern Marianas will be competing in the Spear Fishing competition.

Micronesian All-Around
The Micronesian All-Around competition will be held from Thursday, July 24 (land competition) and Friday July 25 (water competition). The land competition will be held at the Spanish Wall Park. The events are coconut climbing, coconut husking, and coconut grating (women only). The water events will be held at Nett Point. The events include run/swim, diving and spear throwing. The Competition Manager for Micronesian All-Around is Mark Johnny.

The events for men are: Coconut Tree Climbing, Coconut Husking, Spear Throwing, Run/Swim and Diving. The events for women are: Coconut Husking, Coconut Grating, Spear Throwing, Run/Swim and Diving.

Coconut Tree Climbing: Each athlete will climb three (3) coconut trees in the quickest time (running time) possible.

Coconut Husking-Men: Each male athlete will husk ten (10) coconuts in the fastest time possible.

Coconut Husking / Grating-Women: Each female athlete will husk ten (10) coconuts, followed by grating five (5) of the husked coconuts (both halves).

Run / Swim: Each athlete will start at a starting line about 10 meters from the edge of the dock; run and dive into the water, swim to a marker approximately 100 feet out; at which point the swimmer will submerge and swim underwater approximately 25 feet where there will be a buoy. At the buoy, the athlete will surface and ring the bell on the buoy and then continue swimming back to shore.

Diving: Each athlete will be taken in a boat out to water at a depth of approximately 10 to 15 feet for men and 8 to 10 feet for women. Contestants will dive for 5 objects. On a signal by the Official, the athlete will dive into the water and swim to the bottom and retrieve a specified object and resurface and place the object inside the boat. The swimmer will continue another 4 dives, for a total of five dives in all, and retrieve the objects each time. The Official in the boat will be timing the dives starting with the first dive until the last (fifth) dive is completed and the fifth object has been placed inside the boat.

Spear Throwing: Three targets will be placed in the water at three different distances; distances for men are 10 feet, 20 feet and 30 feet; distances for women are 10 feet, 15 feet and 20 feet. Each athlete is allowed one (1) practice throw at each distance. Each competitor will have three throws at each distance. Pohnpei, Chuuk, Marshall Islands and Palau will be competing in Micronesian All-Around.

Va'a (V6 - Outrigger Canoe)
The Va’a (V6 - outrigger canoe) competition will be held on Saturday July 26 and Monday, July 28 at Lidakihka Beach and Tekehtik Harbor. The Competition Manager for Va’a is Donald David. The International Va’a Association (IVA) Technical Delegate is Baklai Temengil from Palau. List of Events Men Women V6 500m sprint V6 500m sprint V6 1500m sprint V6 1500m Sprint V6 20km Long Distance V6 15km Long Distance The 2014 IVF Rules and Regulations, used at the World Sprints, are applicable to this event. They are included as a general guide for competing paddlers. All Va'a (6-men outrigger canoes) are to be made from the same mold, using the same materials, with weight and dimensions to be the same. Prior to the competition, officials will check the weight and make alterations as need so that all Va'a are of the same weight. The 8th Organizing Committee for the Micronesian Games has purchased six new 6-men Va’as from Yap and they will arrive to Pohnpei by the end of this month. Pohnpei, Kosrae, Chuuk, Yap, Guam, Palau and Northern Marianas will be competing in Va’a.

Doping Control
All Athletes are advised that random drug testing will be conducted for the duration of the 2014 Micronesian Games. The Doping Control will be supervised by the Oceania Regional Anti-Doping Organization (ORADO), a member of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The FSM National Olympic Committee applied for and received an ORADO and Oceania National Olympic Committee (ONOC) grant to fully fund the cost of the Doping Control ($50,000). Dr. Natanya Potoi-Ulia (Samoa) and 4 assistants from Fiji and Palau will supervise the random drug testing program. Assisting the group will be 3 Pohnpei certified Doping Control officers – Ari Montana Skilling, Lerry Dakanno and Jeffra Jim. It is the responsibility of the athlete to check the status of all medications and refrain from using prohibited substances. Any athlete that tests positive for a prohibited substance will be disqualified from the 2014 Micronesian Games.

UN Concern At Kiribati Crowding

TARAWA, Kiribati (Radio New Zealand International, July 03, 2014) — The United Nations Population Fund, or UNFPA, has been in talks with the Kiribati government this week about ways to curb what it calls concerning population growth.

Kiribati has a population of 103,000, with a growth rate of 2.1 percent - about 2,000 births and a natural death rate of 400 to 500 annually.

The UNFPA Pacific director, Laurent Zessler, says the government's new committee on the management of population and development is a good first step.

But Dr. Zessler says the solution lies in educating people about the benefits of contraception and smaller family sizes. "They have to better plan and take into consideration the number of children they are planning to have. This implies also to make better access to contraceptive and also to really work with each community in Kiribati to address this issue of rapid population growth."

Laurent Zessler says Kiribati plans to conduct a census next year to get an exact picture of its population distribution.

Kiribati To Host Climate Change Meeting Of Atoll Nations

KIRIBATI, Oceania (PACNEWS, July 03, 2014) — Kiribati is set to host a climate change meeting next week of atoll nations to consolidate their stance as frontline and most vulnerable states in the face of climate change, according to a report from the Office of the President in Tarawa.

For these frontline nations, Kiribati, Maldives, Marshall Islands and Tuvalu, climate change is an issue of security and survival.

They are meeting under an affiliation known as the Coalition of Atoll Nations on Climate Change (CANCC).

President of Kiribati, Anote Tong says a united stance as atoll nations in the global arena will gain traction and re-direct international focus to the plight facing low-lying atoll states.

“Whilst the international community is still debating on the level of green-house gas emissions, the reality of the impact of climate change is being felt across the globe and more so for low-lying atoll nations.” President Tong said, adding that he has and will continue to advocate that the time to act is now before it is too late for nations similar to Kiribati.

The end of next year will see the Kyoto Protocol come to its end and whether a new agreement is achieved or not, practical and innovative solutions need to be put in motion to ensure the continued existence of nations like Kiribati.

President Tong also added that this coalition should also highlight to the world as a whole that atoll nations are and should be considered the ‘early warning system’ to climate change.

“With 70% of major cities built on coastal areas, should our atoll nations disappear, these cities will be the next on the frontline.” President Tong said.

The CANCC meeting in Tarawa will focus on three items of agenda which includes the ‘Consolidation of Atoll Nation’s Support to the Ongoing Negotiations on Climate Change Issues’, ‘Adaptation and Survivability Now’ and, ‘Adaptation and Survivability in a Worst Case Scenario’.

The three atoll nations invited by Kiribati have confirmed their participation with high-level delegates comprising of two Head of States. Other invitees from outside of Kiribati include Tokelau and the USA through its embassy in Fiji, though they have yet to confirm their participation.

Resident High Commissioners from Australia and New Zealand and, resident Ambassadors from Cuba and ... China... have also been invited as Observers.

The CANCC meeting will run from 10 – 11 July with an Outcomes Document that will highlight the united stance of atoll nations and be utilized by these atoll nations as a platform to advocate their issues in the global arena one of which is the upcoming UN Climate Change Summit in September as well as the ongoing climate change negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Australia And New Zealand To Compete In Pacific Games

PNG, Oceania (Radio Australia, July 03, 2014) — The Pacific Games Council has announced Australia and New Zealand will be able to compete in some sports at next year's Games in Papua New Guinea.

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 Pacific Beat.

"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.

Mr. Lakhan 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.

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