The 9th Micronesian Games kicked off yesterday afternoon in Yap with the usual parade of nations, while competition will be focused on the track today with athletics kicking off at the Matson Sports Complex.
Veterans Tony Ichiuo and Ron Olopai and multi-sport athlete Kelvin Fitial will be the first ones to see action for the CNMI Athletes Team when they participate in the finals of the men’s discus throw, beginning at 4:30pm. The three Commonwealth bets will be up against the Marshall Islands’ Sidra Triplett and Rais Aho, Guam’s Joshua Miller, Palau’s Ian Koshiba and Florian Temengil, and Yap’s Medson Rawelmai and Javez Mooteb.
Next up for the CNMI are three young athletes competing in women’s long jump. Jerlyn Castillo, Jamie Pangelinan, and Meani Acosta will be battling Guam’s Richelle and Regina Tugade and Shania Bulala, the Marshall Islands’ Rosemaline Watley, Palau’s Aubry Ngirangesil and Fantasia Ruvasch, and Pohnpei’s Reloliza Saimon. The women’s long jump is set for 5pm.
Pangelinan is also set to participate in the javelin throw against Pohnpei’s Sandonia Likor, Guam’s Genie Gerardo, and the Marshall Islands’ Ruhiyyih Aho.
The qualifying heats and finals for the men’s and women’s 100m and preliminary races for the 400m runs are also slated for Day 1 of the athletics competition, which will kick off with the staging of the 10K run for men and women at 7am.
Meanwhile, schedules of the other events in Micro Games were unavailable at press time, as the technical committee meetings for basketball, baseball, spearfishing, wrestling, and beach volleyball were also held yesterday. Others sports—indoor volleyball, canoe, open water swim, weightlifting, and Micro All Around will have their meeting today and tomorrow, while football and table tennis had theirs last Saturday.
The CNMI will only compete in baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s weightlifting, men’s and women’s canoe, men’s indoor volleyball, spearfishing, and open water swim.
The Commonwealth delegates (more than 100) were among the around 2,000 athletes, officials, and visitors who will be staying in Yap for the competitions that will last until July 27.
There was confusion upon the arrival of delegates last weekend, as they were still securing a place to stay with the failure of “Forever Lucky” to dock in Yap. The Philippine-based ship was seized by PH authorities due to the alleged various labor and maritime violations. It was contracted by the Federated States of Micronesia to help in the accommodation and catering services for the Micro Games and was scheduled to arrive in Yap on July 11.
Saipan Tribune emailed FSM/Yap public information officer Francis Itimai to ask for an official statement on the issue an surrounding “Forever Lucky,” but has yet to respond at press time.
Sources from Yap said alternative housing arrangements have been made for those who booked with the cruise ship. Accommodations include empty commercial spaces and a large conference room in downtown Colonia, while a local restaurant owner has been enlisted to provide food to participants.
The Athletes Village, where most of CNMI delegates are staying, is located at the Yap High School and houses more than 1,000 athletes and coaches.