The first installment payment for the cost of the trip to the 2014 Micronesian Games in Pohnpei is due next month.
Northern Marianas Amateur Sports Association president Michael White, during the NMASA meeting last week, reminded members that the $600 first payment should be turned in at the July meeting or on July 11, while the balance should be completed on or before January next year.
The NMASA head added that the cost per athlete ($1,200) may not lower down, as airfare alone is already estimated at $700 and Pohnpei is charging $50 per diem for the 10-day competition.
The 2014 Micronesian Games will run from July 20 to 29 with the CNMI facing a big challenge of duplicating if not surpassing its impressive performance in the 2010 Micro Games in Palau. The Commonwealth hauled 44 gold medals, 23 silver, and 25 bronze medals in Palau to beat the host for the overall championship. Swimming, table tennis, lawn tennis, triathlon, and athletics delivered multiple medals for the CNMI, but as of NMASA’s last meeting no sports association has finalized its decision to compete in the 2014 Micronesian Games.
Though NMASA has yet to get a final word from any local federation, White is still encouraging officials and players to start their fundraising efforts for the games. The NMASA head made the request particularly to associations that will be sending big teams to Pohnpei. Baseball, for one, is expected to start the ball rolling as far as preparation for the Micro Games is concerned. The CNMI sluggers settled for a runner-up finish against Palau in 2010 after winning the gold medal versus Guam during the 2006 Micronesian Games on Saipan.
The Commonwealth has also sent men’s and women’s basketball teams to the quadrennial competition in the past with the CNMI cagebelles getting a silver medal in Palau.
Lawn tennis, which consistently gave the CNMI medals, has yet to commit, but John Jones, who represented Jeff Race in last week’s meeting, said he will mention NMASA’s concern to Northern Mariana Islands Tennis Association officials.
Table tennis has been inactive for more than a year after some players from Tinian relocated, while athletics is expected to bring back the Idaho-based Yvonne Bennett to Saipan to compete in Pohpei, along with Northern Marianas Athletics’ new pool of up-and-coming athletes.
Triathlon has lost 2010 Micro Games gold medalist Mieko Carey to Guam and Kieran Daly to Australia, but Lewie Tenorio is still around. The CNMI has a young pool in swimming with only Kensuke Kimura the only member of the 2010 team left on the island. Rezne Wong, the 2010 Micronesian Games Outstanding Male Athlete, has completed his collegiate career and there is no word yet if he is suiting up anew for the CNMI, while Kai Staal and Shin Kimura are in college off-island. Siblings Grace and Andrew Kimball had also left the island. The CNMI is left with a bunch of swimmers in the 12 to 16 age groups (Victoria Chentsova, Kento Akimaru, Miku Tammy, Angel Marie Tan, Kaito Yanai, and Angel De Jesus).