Swimmers bring Papua New Guinea Olympic team to five

Papua New Guinea Swimming has confirmed two of its athletes are bound for the Paris Olympics, after their universality slots were approved by World Aquatics.

Josh Tarere and Georgia-Leigh Vele bring the total number of qualified athletes for PNG to five.

PNG Swimming president Elizabeth Wells told the National newspaper both swimmers have been very dedicated to their training programmes to secure a spot, especially over the past 12 months.

“Their coaches have in place a plan which is devoted to preparation for doing well in competition,” she said.

“They are both are actively striving to reach their goal times in the lead-up preparations before departing for the Paris Olympics and they will compete with a positive purpose to swim fast for PNG, under the direction of coach Rick Van der Zant.”

Tarere will be competing in the 100m freestyle in Paris, on day four of the swim programme on 30 July; with Vele in the 50m freestyle on day eight, on 3 August.

Georgia-Leigh Vele

They both received universality places for the Games – spots designed to increase the diversity of participating nations across the Olympic sports programme.

While some nations may qualify dozens, or even hundreds, of athletes for the Olympic Games, others are left with very few athletes once qualification is complete in each sport. Universality places are available in the qualification systems of select sports for nations with traditionally small delegations.

The swimming pair join weightlifter Morea Baru and taekwondo pair Gibson Mera and Kevin Kassman in the Papua New Guinea team.

Baru also received a universality place.

The National said it is understood that sprinter Leonie Beu has been nominated for the universality place for athletics but is awaiting confirmation from the world governing body.

Josh Tarere

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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