- Category: Sports
- Published on Wednesday, 27 June 2012 13:14
- Written by Jim Tobin
- Hits: 686
The Federated States of Micronesia will be sending five athletes to this year’s Olympic Games competing in Weightlifting, Swimming and Athletics (track and field). The 2012 Olympic Games are from July 27 to August 12, 2012 in London, England. The FSM sports delegation will include 5 athletes (Manuel Minginfel, Debra Daniel, Kerson Hadley, John Howard and Mihter Wendolin), 5 coaches (Ron Etshceit, Sweeter Daniel, Rendy Germinaro, George Steven and Lestly Ashby), 1 Chef de Mission (Ted Rutun), 1 doctor (Dr. Felix Yomai), 1 Press Attaché (Marcellus Akapito) and FSM National Olympic Committee (FSMNOC) President and Secretary General (Berney Martin and Jim Tobin).
Over 10,000 athletes from 205 countries will participate in 28 sports. The first FSM athlete to compete in the London 2012 Olympic Games will be 4-time Olympian Manuel Minginfel, male weightlifter from Yap State, on July 30 in Weightlifting. At the Beijing Olympic Games he lifted a total of 270kg and finished a respectable 11th place in the men’s 62kg category. Kerson Hadley and Debra Daniel, both from Pohnpei State, will compete in the 50-meter free style in Swimming on August 02 and 03. John Howard, Chuuk State and Mihter Wendolin, Pohnpei State, will compete in the 100-meter dash in Athletics on August 04 and 05.
For the first time ever, the FSM National Olympic Committee has sent the 2 FSM swimmers (Daniel and Hadley) and 2 FSM runners (Wendolin and Howard) and one coach (Germinaro) to a pre-Olympic Games training camp. The FSM group arrived to Liverpool, England on June 11 and will remain at the camp for 6 weeks prior to moving into the Olympic Games Village in London on July 23. The FSM swimmers and runners will be trained by world-class English coaches from the NW England region. This should greatly improve their results in the 50-meter free style and 100-meter dash at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The FSM National Olympic Committee applied and received a 25,000 pound pre-games training camp grant from the London Olympic Games Organizing Committee (LOCOG) to fund the majority of the costs of the FSM training camp. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) funded the airfare costs.
Minginfel has been training full-time since February at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute in New Caledonia. Last week, he qualified on his own merit for the London 2012 Olympic Games by winning the men’s 62kg category at the 2012 Oceania Weightlifting Championships in Samoa. He was the only lifter at the Oceania Weightlifting Championships who qualified on his own merit and was awarded the Best Overall Lifter trophy. Minginfel will be traveling with Paul Coffa, his institute coach and mentor, along with other Pacific island lifters from New Caledonia to London on July 24.
The FSMNOC also supported Keitani Graham, FSM male wrestler from Chuuk State, in his bind to qualify for the Olympic Games in Wrestling. For over one year, Graham trained full time in Honolulu with some of the best USA wrestlers. He competed in numerous continental and world Olympic wrestling qualifiers in Australia, Morocco, China and Finland but fell short. This was not due to his great efforts but to an unfair qualification policy set by FILA, the international wrestling association. In our opinion, Graham is the best wrestler ever from Micronesia and should be very proud of his wrestling results. Graham, Daniel and Minginfel all received 2-year $28,000 London Olympic Games Athlete scholarships, more than another National Olympic Committee received in the region.
The FSMNOC, with funding support from the IOC, is working with FSM Telecommunications Corporation to live television broadcast the London Olympic Games on Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae, most likely from a feed from SkyTV of New Zealand.