25 Jun 2012

Sport: Tonga looking to use London Games as building block

10:42 am on 25 June 2012

Tonga is keeping its aims modest ahead of next months London Olympics.

Just three athletes have locked in their spot for the Games - all via the wildcard draw - with officials still waiting to hear from the International Olympic Committee if their applications to add a weightlifter to that contingent has been successful.

The country's Chef de Mission, 'Ahongalu Fusimalohi, says with medal hopes slim to nothing the focus is on their athletes achieving personal best times.

"Our participation this year hasn't been quite as expected. We were hoping to get at least 10 athletes - for example in boxing which we came very close to qualifying. The one -lets just say the extra mile he needed to go just wasn't there and we ended up not being able to qualify. Hopefully our participation this year will be an inspiring effort for other athletes come the Rio Olympics in 2016."

Meanwhile Team Fiji Chef de Mission Christopher Yee says it will have at least nine athletes in London, a record for the Melanesian country.