12 October, 2017. The Chef de Mission Seminar for the XXI Commonwealth Games is currently held at the Gold Coast with the final day of venue tours tomorrow, Thursday 12.
However, according to Tonga CGA Office (TASANOC) and representatives at the seminar, the road for some sports will be tough with those sports having to qualify.
Those sports include Beach Volleyball (Men’s), Rugby 7’s (Men’s), Weightlifting as well as para-sports, which includes Powerlifting and Table Tennis.
For Rugby 7’s, they need to compete at the Oceania 7’s in Fiji next month (November) and will need to be amongst the medal winners, since Fiji and Samoa had gone through.
The Men’s Beach Volleyball have to compete at the FIVB Oceania qualification in Vanuatu prior to the Pacific Mini Games, and for Weightlifting, they must compete and do well at the Pacific Mini Games.
Tonga CGA has been only given a Primary Athlete Allocation of 12 athletes based on previous Games participation, which TASANOC now looks to enter at Swimming, Boxing, Lawn Bowls and Shooting as they are all open qualification.
TASANOC has been liaising with respective sports/NF’s to ensure that they are selecting the best in their respective sports and events.
According to Tonga Chef de Mission, ‘Amanaki Fakakovikaetau, he said that Tonga CGA was still felt warm and welcoming at the seminar despite what had happened in Tonga sports during the past few months. But he added that the onus would be on each individual sports/NF’s to prepare their best athletes for the Games.
Time is short and therefore a wholesale effort by everyone, NF’s, Athletes, Coaches, TASANOC and Government to ensure we would send a very competitive and good team to the Gold Coast.
‘Amanaki also said that TASANOC was also looking at engaging Tongan communities in Australia but mainly from New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland but that does not stop any Tongans coming from other part of Australia.