by Raphaella Kaore – EM TV Sports, Port Moresby
The Papua New Guinea Karate-Do Federation (PNGKF) has endorsed 42 fighters in their target team for the Pacific Games.
The target team was selected after a week-long training camp held in mid-January and after further selection trials held in Port Moresby.
Among the athletes selected were three finds from the 2014 PNG Games in Lae: Beverly Wasawa, Phyllis Bibuai and Donald Samuel.
Also on the team is Braden McMahon of Sydney, Australia. Braden has a formidable competitor and has been considered for the Kumite division. The PNGKF fully endorsed a team comprised of 42 athletes.
When announcing the target, PNGKF President Carl Mari clarified various reports in the media, quoting a number of gold medals karate has won, saying he did not wish to put unnecessary pressure on his fighters.
He said his executive has confidence in the selected athletes and the management and coaching team appointed to prepare for the Pacific Games. In endorsing the target team, certain resolutions have been made as follows:
• While preparing fighters, the coaching team will move athletes to meet weight requirements
• Placing fighters in multiple events to optimise medal chances
• Select final squad will be based on selection policy in consultation with the PNGOC justification panel
An initial team of 31 fighters from the 42 already in training will be chosen and that number will be cut down further for the Pacific Games; this will happen straight after the National Championships, which will be held on the 26th of April.