The strongest weightlifting field in Pacific Games history will be on show in Papua New Guinea next month.
The Pacific Games event in Port Moresby is being held in conjunction with the Oceania Weightlifting Championships for the first time.
Among the lifters on show will be Glasgow Commonwealth Games gold medallists Dika Toua and Steven Kari from Papua New Guinea, and David Katoatau from Kiribati.
Samoa, Fiji and Nauru will also have Commonwealth medallists on show, as well as New Zealand and Australia, who are competing in the Pacific Games for the first time.
The General Secretary of the Oceania and Commonwealth Weightlifting Federations, Paul Coffa, says that's helped to boost the entry numbers.
"We have 21 countries with about 260 lifters competing. That's quite a large number really - the biggest entries we've ever had in this sport in the pacific - and of course the [fact it is a] Rio qualification event has a lot to do with it, and we expect some excellent results."
American Samoa, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Guam, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Norfolk Island, Samoa, Palau, the Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Tonga, Tuvalu, Tokelau, and Wallis and Futuna are the other competing countries aside from the CNMI and host Papua New Guinea.
A 32-member delegation, including 25 athletes, will banner the Northern Marianas' medal hopes to next month's XV Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea.
Our correspondent says the CNMI will be competing in eight of the 28 sports offered in the Pacific Games, namely, athletics, beach volleyball, bodybuilding, golf, sailing, swimming, triathlon, and va'a or outrigger canoe.