11 Jul 2016

Sport: FSM hoping for medal shock in Rio

12:19 pm on 11 July 2016

The Federated States of Micronesia believes it has an outside chance of winning an Olympic medal.

Five athletes have been selected to represent the North Pacific nation in Rio.

Swimmers Debra Daniel - who is competing in her third Olympic Games - and Dionisio Augustine have both been selected in the 50m freestyle event.

Kitson Kapriel and Larissa Henry will run the men's and women's 100m on the track but the Secretary General of FSM's National Olympic Committee, Jim Tobin, said their biggest hope, however, is boxer Jennifer Chieng.

"She lives in New York. She was born and raised in the islands but she works for a bank in New York City and she's been boxing for the last two years. Her first big competition was the Pacific Games last year in Papua New Guinea and she surprised everyone and she won the gold medal in her weight division," he said.

"She was voted the outstanding female athlete for all of Oceania for last year at the Association of National Olympic Committee Assembly. Jennifer will be our flag bearer. She's a real elite athlete - she's the athlete that would have a possibility of winning a medal in Rio"

Jim Tobin said while they hold out some hope for Jennifer Chieng the main target for the country's swimmers and runners will be to achieve a personal best time.

"Their whole goal of being at the Olympics is to be an Olympian and doing the best they can do. They're probably the best swimmers and runners we've ever had."

"This is our fifth Olympics - Sydney 2000 was our first Olympic Games - so every Olympics we're getting better but I think if you look in the history of the small islands in Oceania I think Tonga is the only one that's ever won a medal, in boxing. Hopefully this year it's Fiji for rugby but I think that would be our first chance for the smaller islands to win a medal," he said.

Jim Tobin said weightlifter Manuel Minginfel would have been selected to attend his fifth Olympic Games but had to stop training because his wife was ill and returned to Yap to care for his children and wife.