Sport: Pacific countries talk up their medal chances in Glasgow
Plenty of Pacific countries are confident about their medal chances at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Hopes are high among Pacific nations competing at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, which begin today.
Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Nauru and Tonga all contributed to the medal tally in Delhi four years ago.
And, as Vinnie Wylie found out, they're not the only ones eying up a spot on the dais.
Samoa was a stand-out performer at the last Commonwealth Games, winning four medals, including three weightlifting golds. Ele Opeloge and Faavae Faauliuli are back to defend their titles, with Ele joined by three of her siblings, Mary, Petunu and Tovia, in a 12-strong lifting team. The country's Chef de Mission, Aualiitia Faafouina Milford, believes they are capable of even more this time around.
AUALIITIA FAAFOUINA MILFORD: This team is a little bit stronger than four years ago but we learned from Delhi and the mistakes that we made in the past four years so those games have shaped us for the future so now we shape up in accordance to what we saw. Team Samoa is looking to assure that each sport we now participate in come back with medals.
Papua New Guinea has sent the largest Pacific delegation, with 93 athletes competing across 10 sports. Oceania weightlifting champion Steven Kari is a strong contender to win gold in the men's 94kg class. 2006 gold medallist Ryan Pini has retired his speedos since the Delhi Games but is in Glasgow as the PNG swim coach. He believes Team PNG is well-placed to impress.
RYAN PINI: Steve's looking the favourite to win his class so I think there's going to be a lot of support out at the weightlifting. Our other sports may be looking at the same sort of thing thing: we've got athletics up towards the later end of the Games and [sprinter] Toea Wisil, she's a hot contender as well. And I'm sure with the amount of money that's sort of been spent on the team as well, to be able to perform, it will be a fantastic sight for the Papua New Guineans back home, who would like to see the money's been put to good use, which I'm sure it has been. We've got a really strong team here and I can't wait to see some of the results coming out.
Fiji is just happy to be in Glasgow after missing the Delhi Games due to the country's suspension from the Commonwealth. They were given the green light for Glasgow in March and briefly threatened to boycott the event after being told it was too late for it to enter teams in netball and rugby sevens. Despite losing one of their best medal hopes, Chef de Mission Lyndall Fisher says it's nice to be back in the fold.
LYNDALL FISHER: We did not have Glasgow on our picture at the beginning of the year so for all the sportspeople it's very exciting that they've got this competition on. We're hopeful that Team Fiji will be able to win a medal and our bowlers are very experienced bowlers. They did fairly well at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006 so we're hopeful there will be a medal or two within that group of athletes as well.
The Cook Islands Chef De Mission Robert Graham has pinpointed lawn bowls as his country's best medal chance, while Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Nauru are all an outside shot in weightlifting, following success at Oceania level.
Tonga's Chef de Mission 'Amanaki Fakakovikaetau is backing the Kingdom's boxers to repeat their bronze medal winning performances from four years ago, while Vanuatu is keeping its expectations in check after being forced to send a reduced team.
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