24 Jul 2014

Sport: Busy schedule for Pacific athletes in Glasgow

12:06 pm on 24 July 2014

A host of Pacific athletes are in action on day one of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

12 sports are in action on day one of competition with medals up for grabs in cycling, gymnastics, judo, swimming, weightlifting and triathlon.

In the pool, five swimmers from Papua New Guinea, four from Fiji, two from Tonga and one from Samoa will contest the individual events, wit Fiji and PNG also lining up in the 4x100m freestyle relay heats.

Vanuatu judokas Rexly Theuil and Joe Mahit and Tony Lomo from the Solomon Islands are contesting the preliminary rounds.

In Triathlon, PNG's Casmer Kamangip, Polihau Popeliau and Rachael Sapera James will be joined on the start line by Solomon Islands duo Stanley Ofasisili and Jad Godfrey Nalo.

Weightlifting is one of the region's best medal hopes but only PNG's Fred Oala, in the men's 56kg class, and Fiji's Seruwaia Malani, in the women's 48kg division, are competing on day one at the Clyde Auditorium.

Lawn bowlers from Niue, Fiji, Cook Islands, Samoa, Papua New Guinea and Norfolk Islands are in action on the greens in the singles, pairs, triples and fours.

Fiji Chef De Mission Lyndall Fisher says in lieu of their rugby sevens team, who aren't in Glasgow, their bowls team is one of the best hopes for a medal.

"The bowlers don't get the opportunity that most of the other sports do because they're not usually included in a major Games, so very exciting for them. They did fairly well at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006, when Fiji last took part in the Commonwealth Games and they are a very experienced team, so we're hopeful there will be a medal or two within that group of athletes as well".

Elsewhere, Papua New Guinea have five squash players beginning their campaigns, Vanuatu's flag-bearer Yoshua Shing will lead the Melanesian table tennis team, with PNG and Kiribati also competing and Norfolk Island is the sole Pacific representative in Badminton.