Wong: Prepare well

THE inclusion of Australia and New Zealand at the Pacific Games should not serve as an excuse for athletes participating in the regional event as the reason they did not win medals.

Fiji chef de mission Cathy Wong said athletes had been notified of Australia and New Zealand’s inclusion and thus were given ample time to prepare for the regional event.

“There was an equal playing field. You cant say New Zealand was in this or that. Everyone knew from the word go that they were going to be in those events, so we all had equal playing field.

“You can’t blame Australia and New Zealand from taking medals away from us, they came in well prepared too,” she said.

Wong added that an analysis would be conducted to gauge the effect of the two nation’s involvement.

“If we take Australia and New Zealand out how many of those medals could have come to us, that are some things we are going to work on in the next couple of days, do an analysis, how many of those medals could have realistically come to the Pacific Islands,” she said.

She added that the onus was on respective sporting organisations to put in motion plans to ensure that they win medals at the next games.

“If we want to be on par with Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia and Tahiti, we have to start now. For some sports it’s already too late because it takes 6-7 years to plan for that stage,” she said.

* Pacific Games coverage courtesy of BSP