Game on for CNMI athletes
CNMI athletes will begin their respective bids in the XVI Pacific Games, as they compete in tennis, beach volleyball, badminton, and open water swim today in Samoa.
Beach volleyball’s Tyce and Logan Mister will see action in pool play of Group A against Richard Batari and Claude Walo of defending champion and No. 1 seed Papua New Guinea at 9am (6am Saipan time) at the sand court of the Apia Waterfront.
Over at the Multipurpose Gymnasium of the Faleata Sports Complex, badminton’s Nate Guerrero, Ezekiel and Daniel Macario, Janelle and Jordan Pangilinan, and Nicole Malasarte will also have a tough opening assignment in the mixed team event. The NMI bets will take on No. 1 seed Tahiti at 9am. Then in their second game at 1pm, Guerrero and company will duel the hosts.
In the open water swim, David Boyer, Lennosuke Suzuki, Sophia Gauran, and Jinju Thompson will compete in the 5-kilometer race in the waters off Mulifanua Sheraton Beach Resort.
Juhn Tenorio and Aika Watanabe are the other members of the Richard Sikkel-coached team and they will start their bid in the Pacific Games tomorrow in the swim events at the Samoa Aquatic Centre.
At the Apia Part Tennis Courts, the team event will kick off today with the CNMI battling Samoa in the women’s division and Nauru in the men’s category. Colin Sinclair and Ken Song will play in the two men’s singles match for the Commonwealth team, while Isabel Heras and Carol are debuting in the women’s division.
The CNMI is in Group D of pool play in the men’s field and will also face Kiribati and the Solomon Islands. In the women’s division, the CNMI and Samoa are in Group C with the Cook Islands and defending champion Papua New Guinea. Only the top finishers in each pool in the men’s division will advance to the medal round, while the medal format in the women’s has yet to be posted on the event’s website, as there are only three groups in the event.
The CNMI’s entries in the va’a—Mayiah Duenas, Kalea Andrew, Jack Aahn, Steven Goodwin—wont be seeing action until tomorrow. Golf’s Ryan Kim, Sebastian Camacho, J.J. Atalig, Marco Peter, and player/coach Joe “Kamikaze” Camacho will hit the greens of the Royal Samoa Golf Course on Wednesday, while athletics’ Beo Ngirchongor, Zarinae Sapong, Traven Quitugua, and Lia Rangamar will be the last to compete for the CNMI, as their events are scheduled for next week.
Carol CNMI flag bearer
Lee had the honor carrying the CNMI flag during the elaborate opening ceremonies of the XVI Pacific Games at the Apia Park Stadium.
Except for the CNMI Athletics Team, the rest of the Commonwealth’s delegation joined Lee in the three-hour celebration. Chef de mission Paul Plunkett and Northern Marianas Sports Association president Mike White also joined the parade of nations.
The opening ceremonies featured Samoan culture showcasing dance, legends, and sport and culminated with the lighting of the cauldron and followed by a 20-minute firework display.