By Shane Saroya – EM TV Sports, Port Moresby
A disappointing blow for Team PNG this morning, as power lifter Tahina Booth, who could have been one of PNG’s strongest contenders for gold, has been ruled ineligible to compete for Team PNG.
This comes after the PNG Government had not granted her dual citizenship.
Australian based Booth was becoming a familiar name, among team PNG and a potential gold medal winner, for the Pacific Games.
Booth was last in Port Moresby in March for the national selection trials, and was hopeful she’d represent one half, of her parentage in July.
While this comes as a huge blow to team PNG, Tahina’s ineligibility shines the light on PNG’s stand on dual citizenship.
Last year, the Pacific Games Organising Committee was clear on the involvement of overseas based athletes; stating their eligibility would depend on if a grandparent was of Papua New Guinean heritage.
Booth, who is of Gulf heritage, is one of the many athletes who have unfortunately slipped away.
She will now prepare for the Olympics in Rio next year, as part of the Australian squad.