The CNMI will be sending four swimmers to the XV Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea.
Northern Mariana Islands Swimming Federation official Carol-Lynn Pierce said Victoria Chentsova, Angel De Jesus, Kento Akimaru, and Takumi Sugie will represent the Commonwealth to the quadrennial meet that will run from July 4 to 18 in Port Moresby. Jacoby Winkfield, 2014 NMASA Coach of the Year, will call the shots for the four-member swim team.
All four are no strangers to off-island competition, having represented the CNMI to international events in the past years. Chentsova, Akimaru, and Sugie competed in the 2014 Micronesian Games in Pohnpei with the former winning gold medals in the 200m, 400, and 800m freestyle races and a bronze in the 100m freestyle event of the regional tournament. Chentsova, along with De Jesus, also donned the CNMI national colors during the 15th FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, in 2013.
Mandatory meeting tomorrow
Meanwhile, Northern Marianas Sports Association president Mike White is reminding coaches of teams/athletes participating in this year’s Pacific Games to attend a mandatory meeting tomorrow at 7pm at his law office in Susupe.
Coaches who will not be able to attend the important meeting are asked to send their representative. Transportation, housing, meals, and other details about the competition will be discussed at the meeting.
White is also reminding participating teams about the April 15 deadline for submission of accreditation requests. Each delegate must turn in a photocopy of the business page of their passport and a passport-sized photo. Passports should be valid at least until Dec. 4, 2015.
With the Pacific Games less than three months away, White is urging participants to secure airline seats as soon as possible.
According to the NMSA head, there are three ways to get through Papua New Guinea—via Cairns in Australia, Manila, Philippines, and Tokyo, Japan. The route via Cairns has only two connecting flights (per week) from Guam and an electronic Australian visa is needed for this trip. Manila has four flights to Port Moresby every week and delegates from Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia, and some from Guam are expected to take this route. Tokyo, on the other hand, offers only one flight per week and airfare is more expensive.
“Get your tickets as soon as you can. NMASA will be able to reimburse you for a portion of your airfares, but it will be on a reimbursement basis, and the details have not yet been decided,” White wrote in an email sent to federations that will participate in the Pacific Games.