The local organizing committee has released the final schedule of events for the 8th Micronesian Games that will kick off this Sunday in Pohnpei.
After the opening ceremony on July 20, competitions in nine sports will start the following day at the various venues across the state. Basketball (men’s and women’s) will begin with its elimination round at the COM-FSN National Gym and matches will run until July 20. The CNMI, which will field men’s and women’s squads in basketball, will be pitted against Palau in its first game at 2pm. In the women’s division, the Commonwealth cagebelles will debut against host Pohnpei at 6pm.
The CNMI’s other games in the women’s division are against Guam, Nauru, Palau, and Chuuk. In the men’s division, the Commonwealth bets will also face Nauru, Pohnpei, and Chuuk. The Top 4 teams in each pool in the men’s division will advance to the crossover playoff round with the No. 1 squad facing the No. 4 finisher and the No. 2 and 3 teams colliding in the other do-or-die match. In the women’s division, only the Top 4 teams will move into the playoffs and pairings will be No. 1 against No. 4 and No. 2 versus No. 3.
In athletics where the CNMI has 18 entries, competitions will take place from July 21 to 24 at the PNI Track and Field, while swimming will be held for only three days, from July 21 to 23 at the PNI Swimming Pool. Canoe racing, which is set at the Lidakihka Beach, is scheduled for July 26 and 28. Preliminary races in the short distance are slated in the morning, while the finals will take place in the afternoon. The long distance events (20K and 15K) are set for July 28. The CNMI have delegates to both canoe racing and swimming.
In the highly-anticipated baseball competition, the CNMI will have an early rematch against defending champion Palau on July 22 at the Daini Field. Palau defeated the CNMI in the finals, 7-3, when the former hosted the Micro Games in 2010. After the finals rematch, the CNMI will collide against Kosrae on July 24 and meet Guam in the last game in the preliminary on July 25. The Top 2 teams after in the preliminary round will battle for the first finals berth. The loser in the fight for the first finals ticket will then have to challenge the victor of the No. 3 and 4 pairing for the last championship seat.
Meanwhile, in weightlifting, the nine-man CNMI team will compete from July 24 to 25 at the COM-FSN National Gym, while the Commonwealth’s two-man spearfishing squad will have their contest on the same days at Mangrove Bay.
Other sports lined up in this year’s Micro Games are softball, football, table tennis, lawn tennis, wrestling, and Micronesian All-Around. Over 2,000 athletes and officials are expected to participate in the 11-day competition.