7 Jul 2021

In brief: Olympic news from around the Pacific

1:36 pm on 7 July 2021

Vanuatu pull out of Tokyo Paralympics;Guam swim team arrive in Japan; Kiribati confirms athletes for Tokyo Olympics

The Olympic Symbol is pictured at the New National Stadium, a venue for the opening ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo on March 24, 2020.

Photo: AFP / Yomiuri

Vanuatu pull out of Tokyo Paralympics

Vanuatu have pulled out of the Tokyo Paralympic Games due to concerns over Covid-19.

Vanuatu's Paralympic Committee confirmed the decision to withdraw was unanimous, after a meeting of athletes and coaches said there were fears about the health and safety of delegates amid the rapid spread of the delta variant.

Concerns about the potential financial blow, should its delegation be forced into additional unplanned quarantine on the route home, was also considered.

Guam swim team arrive in Japan

Guam's swim team has arrived safely in Japan, where for one of the athletes, it'll be her first Olympic Games.

Mineri Gomez and Jagger Stephens are currently training in Yanagawa in southern Japan and will depart for Tokyo on July 19th.

Ms Gomez says this is a childhood dream come true and is excited to make the most of the experience.

Kiribati confirms athletes for Tokyo Olympics

The Kiribati National Olympic Committee has confirmed the three athletes who'll represent the nation at the Tokyo Olympics.

The three-athlete delegation will equal the nation's biggest ever.

One is weightlifter Ruben Katoatau, who is currently training in Nauru ahead of the Games.

Kataoatau has qualified for Tokyo after Samoan weightlifter Vaipava Nevo Ioane - who took the Oceania spot in the International Weightlifting Federation Absolute Continental Ranking - withdrew from the Games.

Judoka Kinaua Biribo, who is training in Budapest ahead of the Games is set to compete in the women's under-70kg category, having recently taken part in the World Judo Championships in Hungary.

20-year-old Lataisi Mwea is set to compete in athletics for Kiribati.