14 Jul 2012

Sport: Team Cook Islands will have strong presence in water at Olympics

8:34 am on 14 July 2012

Team Cook Islands will have a strong presence in the water at the London Olympics, which begins in two weeks time.

Canoeists Ella Nicholas and Josh Utanga will join swimmers Celeste Brown, Zachary Tepaia Payne and sailor Helema Williams in the country's eight strong squad.

Team Chef de Mission George George Williamson says water sports are a natural strength for Cook Islands although there is one anomaly.

"We don't have pools here - the ones that have qualified for us to go to the games, these are our schools students who have travelled with their parents overseas and have trained there and therefore have qualified. It's one area that we definitely would like to see improved. We've got a big lagoon right next door to us but somehow swimming hasn't been the best for us here in the Islands."

Some of the team is already in London with the rest of the team due to depart next weekend.