LaHunn, Hannah named to Pacific Oceania Team



The CNMI’s LaHunn Lam and Hannah Chae have been selected to be part of the Pacific Oceania Team to the 2023 ITF World Teams Competition Asia/Oceania Pre-Qualifying Events set next month in Sri Lanka.

Aside from Lam and Chae, Northern Mariana Islands Tennis Association president and CNMI national tennis coach Jeff Race has also been picked by Oceania Tennis Federation to head the U14 boys team as coach/manager.

“Big congratulations to Hannah Chae and LaHunn Lam. Based on their finishes in the Pacific Oceania Junior Championships last September they have been selected by the Oceania Tennis Federation to represent the Pacific Oceania Team in the 2023 World Team U14 Pre Qualifying competition. It is very exciting to have our NMI junior players be able to play in such a high level competition,” said Race in a social media message to tennis stakeholders. 


The 2023 ITF World Teams Competition Asia/Oceania Pre-Qualifying Events will take place from Feb. 13 to 18 in Sri Lanka’s capital of Colombo. 

Lam, who last year became the youngest player ever to compete in Wimbledon, said he’s honored to represent the CNMI again in an off-island tournament. 

“I am very thankful and excited to play in such a high-level competition. I can’t wait to be there,” said the 13-year-old.

Lam dedicated this latest achievement to his parents, Race, the Oceania Tennis Federation, and all his friends in the CNMI “who have been supporting him tremendously.”

As for training in the lead up to the pre-qualifying competition, Lam said his coaches in Spain, where he’s now based, have lined up a busy schedule for him already. 

“I’m planning to go to the Valencia Tennis Academy next week in Spain, join their program, and play local tournaments to prepare for the competition,” he told Saipan Tribune.

Chae, for her part, is thankful for being selected to the U14 Pacific Oceania Team for the pre qualifying tournament. 

“I can’t expect much from the competition, but I’m sure that I’m going to do my best,” said the 13-year-old from Saipan Community School who is dedicating her selection to her parents.

Race, meanwhile, said it’s always an honor to be selected by the OTF to captain a regional team. 

“It’s my first time to be a part of a World Team U14’s squad. It’s on clay and I know that LaHunn likes that surface so I like his chances. Hannah will get a big and exciting learning experience,” he said.

Aside from Lam, also part of the Pacific Oceania boys U14 ta, to the tournament are Tahiti’s Toanui Lee Tam and Solomon Islands’ John Taufunu.

Joining Chae in the girls U14 squad are Papua New Guinea’s Colita Hakena and Cook Islands’ Raetea Rongo. The girls U14 captain is Raynal Singh from Fiji.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at

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