The PNG Karate-Do Federation (PNGKF) has selected forty two (42) athletes as the Target Team for the Port Moresby Pacific Games in July 2015. The Target Team was selected after the Training Camp on 12th – 27th January 2015 and the Selection Trial held on 24th January 2015 in Port Moresby.
Amongst the athletes selected were three finds from the 2014 PNG Games in Lae; Beverly Wasawa, Phyllis Bibuai and Donald Samuel. Also included in the team is Braden McMahon of Sydney, Australia. Braden has is a formidable competitor and has been considered for a kumite division.
The PNGKF full endorsed team comprises of; Gladyskaren Wallace, Beverly Wasawa, Francillia Kokin, Quentin Bougen, (Bougainville); Lera Kose, Gewa Rupa, Miriam Stanley, Catherine Wilson, Naorei Joseph, Jason Kilangit, Ishmael Stanley, John Kajona, Billy Billy Jnr, Dennis Kopman, Dominic Sipapi, Francis Oa Jnr, Buruka Chapau Jnr (Central); Joan Abala, Francis Virgil, (East New Britain); Maryanne Porika, Phyllis Bibuai, Siwari Matus, Donald Samuel, Eddie Martin, (Morobe); Crystal Mari, Doris Karomo, Joancherry Revui, Gantianna Joseph, Sarah Ande, Julius Piku, Nigel Bana, Leonard Gariadi, Cosmas Saliawali, Andrew Molen, Owen Gigiro (National Capital District); Sailas Piskaut, Atomu Amani (New Ireland); Braden McMahon (Sydney, NSW); Basil Oriri (Northern); Peace Kaiwa, Romana Asiange, Ernest Nuli (West New Britain).
Whilst announcing the target team PNGKF president Carl Mari clarified various reports in the media quoting a certain number of gold medals Karate is winning by saying that his executive committee do not wish to put unnecessary pressure on the athletes by declaring how many gold medals Karate would win. He said his executive has confidence in the selected athletes and the management and coaching team that has been appointed to prepare the athletes for the Games. However, this Pacific Games would be a lot more difficult as it is on home soil and high expectations are already on the athletes. We do not want to add any more pressure on them, they don’t need it! What we can assure PNG is that these Karatekas will bring home medals, of this we are certain; but what is not certain at this stage is the colours and number of the medals.
The proposed final PNG Karate team for the Pacific Games is thirty one (31) athletes; 14 females and 17 males. Thus, the team has to be culled further to the final number required for the Pacific Games after the 26th PNG National Karate Championships in April 2015. In endorsing the Target Team, the PNGKF executives also made certain resolutions as follows;
- Whilst preparing the athletes, the Coaching Team would move athletes around within the divisions to meet weight requirements,
- The Coaching Team would consider putting athletes in multiple events if they believe that is the right strategy in optimizing the country’s medal chances; thereby ultimately reducing the team size from thirty one (31) to a lesser number, and
- The final team has to be selected from this target team by the coaching team in line with the Karate Athlete Selection Policy and in consultation with the PNG Olympic Committee Justification Panel.
Athletes are requested to contact Team Managers Mr. Francis Mairi (76125508) and Mrs. Gorettie Mari (73148260) to collect information regarding their selection and training.
PNGKF would like to thank the individual athletes’ sponsors, the national government and PNG Olympic Committee for funding through the Go for Gold program.