Two sports that have consistently delivered medals to the CNMI have been dropped from the calendar of events for the 2018 Micronesian Games.
Host Yap, during the meeting of representatives of participating countries in the Micro Games, said that they will not be holding swimming and tennis competitions in next year’s event. Fast-pitch softball, traditional sailing, and 3 vs 3 basketball have been scrapped from the list, too, leaving athletics, baseball, basketball, beach volleyball, indoor volleyball, Micro All-Around, paddling, soccer (men’s 11 aside and women’s 7 aside), spearfishing, table tennis, weightlifting, and wrestling the sports to be contested in the Micro Games.
Northern Marianas Sports Association president Michael White, who represented Team Marianas in the meeting held last month, also said that Yap has offered to other island-nations the hosting rights of the events it could not hold. However, the CNMI, Pohnpei, Chuuk, Kosrae, Guam, Palau, the Marshall Islands, and Kiribati were given only a month after the March 7 meeting to turn in their bids.
“I don’t think that other countries will be able to host these events separately,” White said during the NMSA’s monthly meeting last Thursday at the conference room of the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
Northern Mariana Islands Tennis Association initially expressed an interest in hosting a competition. However, NMITA official Jeff Race found out later that the schedule of the Micro Games may run in conflict with the Pacific Oceania Junior Championships where the CNMI is regularly competing every summer. The Micro Games in Yap will take place from July 16 to 28.
With tennis and swimming out, the Team Marianas will be pinning its hopes on the island’s entries in athletics. Athletics, baseball, volleyball, weightlifting, paddling/canoe, and basketball associations are among the groups that expressed interests in sending athletes and officials to the Micro Games.
In the 2014 Micro Games in Pohnpei, Team Marianas won 14 gold medals, 15 silvers, and five bronze—with 15 coming from athletics, 12 from weightlifting, four from swimming, and one each from canoe, baseball, and women’s basketball. In the 2010 Micronesian Games where the CNMI won its most gold medals (44) in the history of the quadrennial event, swimming contributed 35 medals, while tennis had 11.