SAIPAN (SAIPAN TRIBUNE) — No less than the technical delegate for the triathlon event of the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022 has proclaimed that Rota is ready as ever to host not one but three triathlon races when the quadrennial event rolls around next month.

“Rota Island is indeed ready to host the three triathlon races in June. The support from the [Rota] Mayor’s Office, the police, U.S. Coast Guard, medical team, and the community volunteers was very impressive. The Triathlon Association of the CNMI is also very capable of hosting the event,” said Mini Games triathlon technical delegate Stephen Damien.

Damien is one of over 20 who flew to the island to take part in a test run for the sport for the Mini Games. He was joined by Pacific Mini Games Organising Committee sports director Ramon Tebuteb, TRAC president Manny Sitchon, TRAC secretary general Ricky Castro, national triathlon coach Mick Ferris, national triathlon team manager Jay Diyco, and national triathletes Isaiah Aleksenko, Leo Wania, Kathy Ruszala, Heather Brook, Dylan Mister, and Robyn Spaeth, among others.

While on Rota, the delegation conducted a test run of the three triathlon events that will be held on the island for the Mini Games.

“I thought the test event was a success! We only had six athletes—three men, and three women from the CNMI National Triathlon Team competing. In spite of the small number, it was enough for myself and the CNMI officials to test the course,” said Damien.

The technical delegate for triathlon in the 2022 Mini Games said it’s a very significant undertaking by the Mini Games organising committee to host three events over two days of racing.

“Traditionally, the Pacific Games only hosts one triathlon event. The CNMI will for the first time set the precedent for hosting more than one triathlon event in a Pacific Games meet. I may be wrong, but as far back as 2009 when I’ve been officiating in the Pacific Games, this is the first. I’m excited to be working with the CNMI triathlon federation in making this milestone,” said Damien.

As far as the facilities and the courses for the triathlon events are concerned, he said there are minimal fixes that need to be done in the next few weeks.

“We just now have to tweak a few cosmetic changes to the start/finish areas and the swim start/finish. Additionally, there have to be some road improvements on the cycle and run courses which the Rota Mayor’s Office has assured will be done before June. The Round House will be the major facility triathlon will be utilizing. It’s being upgraded hopefully in time for use in June.”

Sitchon, for his part, seconded Damien’s assessment that the test run was a success. He also agreed with the technical delegate that there needs to be some minor adjustments on the layout location of the course.

“Adjustments according to international games standard. They’re quite strict with that to avoid complaints,” he said…. PACNEWS

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