Australian Team announced for Pacific Games
Australia will be represented by 58 athletes in the Pacific Games to be held from the 7th - 20th of next month.
The athletes will take part in athletics, beach volleyball, rugby 7s, sailing and weightlifting, with a 16-strong taekwondo team to be announced following their selection event in Sydney on 8 June.
Dual Olympian Melissa Breen and London 2012 Olympic finalist Steve Solomon are bringing their vast experience to the Team.
Twenty-six-year-old Solomon told the Australian Olympic Committee that the Pacific Games are an important milestone on his journey towards qualifying for a second Olympic experience.
“I'm tremendously proud and excited to don the green and gold at the upcoming Pacific Games. Each opportunity to represent Australia is a privilege, and I know that the flag above my heart will inspire me to great speeds in Samoa,” Solomon said.
“A strong performance in Samoa will set up my campaign for Olympic qualification nicely, and I hope that I can head into 2020 with some fast performances to afford me plenty of training runway ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.”
The athletics team also boasts the likes of 2018 Youth Olympic gold medallist Keely Small (800m), and Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games athletes Brianna Beahan (100m hurdles), Alexandra Hulley (hammer throw), Ian Bewhurst (400m hurdles) and Emmanuel Fakiye (triple jump).
Eight women and seven men make up Australia’s 15-strong weightlifting contingent, including 21-year-old Kiana Elliot, who has five national titles to her name, represented Australia at the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics, and is a 15-time Australian team representative.
As a 17-year-old, Elliot won bronze at the 2015 Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea, which was her first senior competition. Four years later, the former gymnast-turned-weightlifter is back on the team, with Tokyo 2020 in her sights as her major goal.
“Being selected on this team means it’s time to get down to business,” Elliot said.
“The Pacific Games are an important stepping stone toward Tokyo 2020. It is one of six events where athletes can earn ROBI points, which contribute to the overall Weightlifting rankings for Tokyo qualification.”
Australia was first invited to participate in the Pacific Games at the 2015 edition in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The team of 43 athletes from sailing, taekwondo, weightlifting and rugby 7s returned home with 47 medals.
Australian Team for Samoa 2019 Pacific Games
Brianna Beahan - 100m Hurdles
Melissa Breen - 100m / 200m
Alexandra Hulley - Hammer Throw
Keely Small - 800m
Ian Dewhurst - 400m Hurdles
Emmanuel Fakiye - Triple Jump
Steven Solomon - 400m
Rugby 7s – women
Paris Van Den Herik