Athletics regional meet hosting still pending

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Students race in the relay event of the 2019 PSS/NMA All Schools Championship at the Oleai Sports Complex track oval, which has to keep its International Association of Athletics Federations to host the Oceania Micronesian Regional Championships next year. (Saipan Tribune)

The CNMI’s hosting of the 2020 Oceania Micronesian Regional Championships remains tentative due to repairs needed at the Oleai Sports Complex’s track and field facility.

During the Northern Marianas Sports Association’s monthly board meeting last Thursday at the conference room of the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium, Northern Marianas Athletics secretary Robin Sapong informed the NMSA board that if there is no confirmation that the facility can keep the International Association of Athletics Federations standards by March 2020, then the CNMI needs to pull out from hosting the event that is set for June.

Sapong added that Guam was supposed to hold the championship for the Micronesian region, but could not commit because its facility is not up to IAAF standards.

“As the only certified IAAF track in Micronesia at the moment, we just got selected to host the Micronesian Regional Championships in June 2020. Guam was supposed to host it, but its facilities were not upgraded. I just need to know from NMSA by March where we are at, if we cannot sustain that level of maintenance, then NMA need to pull out,” he said.

NMSA takes care of the track facility, but without a budget from the government, it is uncertain if the association could still do the maintenance work there. Repairs at the facility are needed, too, as it sustained damage from previous typhoons.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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