1 Jul 2016

Sport: Cook Islands hopeful of adding to Olympic squad

12:36 pm on 1 July 2016

Cook Islands remain hopeful of adding one more name to their squad for the Rio Olympics.

Wesley Robert impressed at last week's Oceania Swimming Championships, setting new national records in winning gold in the 400m and 1500m freestyle events.

Despite achieving the Olympic B qualifying standard, he still requires approval from swimming's world governing body FINA and the International Olympic Committee to make it to Brazil.

Cook Islands swimmer Wesley Robert at the Oceania Championships.

Cook Islands swimmer Wesley Robert at the Oceania Championships. Photo: Facebook / 2016 Oceania Swimming Championships

The country's Chef de Mission for the Rio Games, Robert Graham, said they expect to hear the final decision before the cut-off date for entries this Sunday.

"There's only about 120-121 places (available for the B qualifying standard)...Unfortunately one of the main criteria from FINA is that athletes who represent their country at the Olympic Games have to have participated the year before at the World Championships. Unfortunately Wesley didn't attend the World Championships last year - his times weren't up there during that time of the World Champs - however as of November of last year until now Wesley has improved a lot."

Cook Islands currently have seven confirmed athletes in Rio across four sports: sailing, swimming, canoe slalom and track and field.