18 Jul 2014

Sport: Cook Islands raise the bar for Glasgow

9:50 am on 18 July 2014

The Cook Islands are sending a smaller team of 25 to this month's Commonwealth Games after raising the entry threshold for their athletes.

The lawn bowls team has already arrived in Glasgow, where they will be joined by the rugby sevens team, who leave today, runners Patty Taea and Alex Beddoes, and weightlifter Luisa Peters.

Chef de Mission Robert Graham says expectations on their athletes are now higher than ever before.

"We've raised the bar to our qualifying codes to attend. We were very lucky with rugby sevens that they were selected as part of the Oceania qualifying. With all the other sports we've had to look at our own selection criteria here to make sure that when we do go to these particular games it's not a holiday, we're actually heading off to actually do our best and show our country that we are the best representing our country, and yhat's the way forward for the future Games, even when we attend Pacific Games or the Olympics as well".

Robert Graham says says the lawn bowls team is the Cook Islands best chance at a Commonwealth medal.

Cook Islands Rugby Sevens player, Kairan Mahia, and teammates.

Cook Islands Rugby Sevens player, Kairan Mahia, and teammates. Photo: PHOTOSPORT