The proposed new schedule for the Pacific Mini Games will be favorable for the Triathlon Association of the CNMI.
The Mini Games, which Saipan will be hosting, is originally set for June next year, but the CNMI Pacific Mini Games Oversight Committee has suggested to have the event in 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic and to avoid conflict with the Tokyo Olympic Games. The move, according to TRAC official Ricky Castro, will benefit triathlon as far as hosting the competition and forming a team are concerned.
“The longer preparation we have, the better results we can get when we host and compete in the Mini Games,” Castro said.
The TRAC official added that the change of schedule is very timely, as the triathlon community does not expect to have any competition or event in the coming months because of the pandemic.
“We won’t be seeing any activities soon, but hopefully when everything is back to normal, by the last quarter of the year, we could hold some events,” Castro said.
After triathlon was included on the program for the Mini Games and the CNMI government reaffirmed its commitment to support the quadrennial event, TRAC gained membership from the International Triathlon Union, making the local federation certified to host a regional competition. TRAC then coordinated with ITU to start its preparation for the hosting of the triathlon event in the Mini Games, but the process was halted when the pandemic came.
“As for hosting the event, the ITU postponed the planning and course design meeting scheduled in March. It remains on hold until further advisement from the ITU Continental Development Coordinator,” Castro said.
Once it’s safe to move forward, TRAC, with guidance from ITU, will discuss pertinent details on its preparation for the Mini Games.
“We will have a timeline on the series of tryouts, schedule for on and off-island training, and the international competition for the men and women, who will be selected to represent the CNMI in the Mini Games in 2022,” Castro said.
Besides triathlon, other sports included on the Mini Games are athletics, baseball, badminton, beach volleyball, and golf. Tennis and weightlifting maybe added on the short list depending on the decision of participating island-nations, which will have a general assembly along with the Pacific Games Council later this year on Saipan.