By Dion Kombeng – EM TV Sports
PNG Amoa Beach volleyball men and women’s teams arrived in Port Moresby yesterday after competing in two of Australia’s largest and most prestigious beach volleyball events on the Gold Coast.
The first event, the Queensland Open, saw the women’s team of Hazel Ruga and Dai John place 5th while team Veuga Sinari and Alice Ito managed a 9th placing. Marty Collins, National Coaching Director for Volleyball, said this was a tremendous result from a star-studded field of 40 teams that included several Olympians, the current world ranked 11, 32 and 42 teams including top Australian and New Zealand teams.
Richard Batari and Moha Mea placed 13th and Harry Omoa and Walter Henao placed 17th in the mens out of 48 teams. Their only losses were at the hands of international standard teams.
The Australian Beach Volleyball Tour Round Two saw a smaller field but with a higher standard of opposition. The win/loss ratio was not as good as the Queensland Open, although their losses were hard fought and against teams with Asian Tour and World Tour experience.
PNG beach volleyball has gained much respect and support in Australia from the teams’ style and level of play that they have showed, in particular with the improvements they have made throughout the tournaments.
The trip was supported by the Go For Gold funding and from the PNGOC provided by the Papua New Guinea Government.
Opportunities have presented themselves with the Amoa Beach Volleyball Squad being invited to compete at the Australian Championships, New Zealand Open and the Asian Tour amongst others. The team is currently looking for sponsorship to make these opportunities possible. Mr. Collins believes that the team has what it takes to become the number one beach volleyball country in the Pacific and enjoy success on the Australian and Asian Tours.