200 to attend Oceania Micronesian Regional Championships

Runners compete in the 800m run during the 2016 Micronesian Athletics Championships held in Pohnpei. Saipan will host this year’s biennial event, which has been renamed to Oceania Micronesian Regional Championships. (FSM Olympic Committee)

Around 200 athletes and team officials are expected to join the Oceania Micronesian Regional Championships, which Saipan will be hosting from June 14 to 16 at the Oleai Sports Complex.

Northern Marianas Athletics president Ramon A. Tebuteb gave the estimated number of participants in the biennial tournament and added that NMA had already established a local organizing committee since last year to make sure that Saipan’s hosting of the event will run smoothly. The NMA official also said that Oceania Athletics Association renamed the event to Oceania Micronesian Regional Championships from Micronesian Athletics Championships and made it one of the three regional competitions that takes place once in every two years (even years), in between the higher level Oceania Area Championships (odd years).

Melanesia and Polynesia will have their own regional championships this year with the former scheduled from May 17 to 19 at the Korman Stadium in Vanuatu and the latter set from Sept. 6 to 8 in Apia, Samoa.

“These three events [regional championships] take us to the next level in the June 2019 Oceania Area Championships. In essence, OAA hosts events practically every year with the regionals in even years and OAC in odd years,” said Tebuteb.

“Now, we have already established our LOC for the regional championships and we’ve been meeting every month since last year. We are also anticipating approximately 200 athletes and management teams, excluding other off-island officials and media,” Tebuteb said.

NMA secretary general Robin Sapong added that they also hold special meetings to address other important matters related to Saipan’s hosting of this year’s competition.

“The LOC regularly meets to update on committee reports and consider our target goals in ensuring we have a smooth event. “We also hold special meetings to address other urgent matters. Our main focus now is the athletes’ welfare—to secure accommodation, catering services for the meals, and volunteers, and the venue site,” Sapong added.

The LOC last met on Jan. 13 at the Fiesta Resort & Spa. Tebuteb is the LOC chair with Sapong as vice chair, Lynn Duenas as secretary, and the Northern Marianas Athletics board of directors as members.

Duenas also heads the finance, accommodations, and food committees, while Sapong is the competition and post events lead person. Gordon Marciano is in charge of transportation and entertainment, while Lawrence Camacho heads the venue committee, and Corine Santos leads the volunteers group.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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