19 October, 2023
Two archery athletes and ten weightlifters have been named to the New Zealand Team for the Solomon Islands 2023 Pacific Games.
Tokyo 2020 Olympian David Liti headlines the weightlifting squad, alongside Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games athletes Hayley Whiting and Emma McIntyre.
Liti competed at the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa where he was New Zealand Team flagbearer.
“I'm really stoked to be heading back to the Pacific Games, it's so cool to see all the Pacific nations get together for a big sporting celebration,” said Liti.
"It's a pretty key competition for me as I work towards the Paris Olympics so I've been putting in the work and am looking forward to getting on the lifting platform."
The remaining seven weightlifters will be making their New Zealand Team debut at the games. They're expecting tough competition, with results at the Pacific Games able to be used for Paris 2024 Olympic Qualification Rankings.
Young archers, Finn Matheson and Nuala Edmundson, have been selected to compete in the individual and mixed team recurve, as well as the ranking 720 round and matchplay events at the Pacific Games.
They say they’re excited to be competing against the best athletes in the Pacific.
“It means so much to me to be selected. It means that I can continue to follow my dreams and compete in the sport that I love. Knowing that all my training and efforts are helping me to progress down this path that I have chosen means the world to me,” said Matheson.
The archery competition at the Pacific Games is a qualification competition for Paris 2024.
“Being selected to represent Aotearoa at the Pacific Games is a huge honour for me,” added Edmunson.
“It’s an important and exciting step on my archery journey, and I can't wait to represent our country at the highest level. I am hoping Finn and I win the mixed teams Olympic spot for New Zealand at this event, and I personally want to shoot a new international PB at these Games.
The weightlifting and archery athletes join the boxing, Para table tennis and athletics athletes already named to the team.
The weightlifting will be contested November 20th- 24th, with the archery to be held November 21st – 24th.
New Zealand Team Chef de Mission Nin Roberts (Oly #946) extended her congratulations to the athletes.
“Well done to all these athletes, it is a huge honour to wear the fern for your country and we look forward to cheering you on in the Solomon Islands next month,” said Roberts.
“We’re getting close to Games time now and are really looking forward to a great celebration of sport, culture and friendship with our pacific neighbours.”
The weightlifting athletes are:
- Renee Baarspul (U87kg)
- Malachi Faamausili-Fala (+109kg)
- Riana Froger (U59kg)
- Elizabeth Granger (U59kg)
- David Liti (+109kg)
- Emma McIntyre (U64kg)
- Susana Nimo (+87kg)
- Olivia Selemaia (U71kg)
- Xavier Tiffany (U89kg)
- Hayley Whiting (U81kg)
The archery athletes are:
- Finn Matheson Men’s Recurve, Mixed Team Recurve, Ranking 720 Round, Matchplay
- Nuala Edmundson Women’s Recurve, Mixed Team Recurve, Ranking 720 Round, Matchplay
About the New Zealand Team for the Solomon Islands 2023 Pacific Games
The 2023 Pacific Games will take place between 19 November and 2 December in the Solomon Islands. The Games are a quadrennial multi-sport event which celebrates sport and Pacific culture.
5,000 participants (including athletes, technical officials and support staff) from 24 Countries will compete across 24 sports at the Games. New Zealand is expected to be represented by approximately 70 athletes across archery, athletics, boxing, karate, Para table tennis, women’s rugby league nines and weightlifting.
The archery and boxing competitions in Honiara are qualifying opportunities for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, while the weightlifting and athletics competitions are part of wider qualification opportunities for the Games.