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Commonwealth Games bid next, PNG Sports minister says

SPORTS Minister Justin Tkatchenko believes the country is ready to bid to host a Commonwealth Games.
Tkatchenko confirmed rumours floating around the Pacific Games Village on Sunday night that hosting a Commonwealth Games was not an issue for Papua New Guinea.
Team managers and officials from the other Pacific Island countries attending the Pacific Games in Port Moresby have been wanting to confirm on Sunday night if the talks were true.
A spokesperson of a Polynesian team taking part in the Games said they were impressed with the sporting facilities, including the state-of-the-art Games Village, and saw a possibility of PNG becoming the first nation in the South Pacific to host a Commonwealth Games.
Tkatchenko was optimistic about hosting the Games in which over 200 countries compete in.
“If Jamaica can do it with their little facility, I can’t see why Port Moresby and Papua New Guinea can host a Commonwealth Games (with the facilities we have),” Tkatchenko said.
“So Commonwealth Games, bring it on!
“The Commonwealth Games has the same amount of athletes we are hosting right now during this Pacific Games. It’s not much different so the Commonwealth Games only takes you to the next level.
“You have the Pacific Games and the Commonwealth Games.”
He said the Government, with its K1.2 billion investment in sporting facilities in Port Moresby, was ready to submit a bid to host the Commonwealth Games.
“These facilities are internationally certified so in that regard we can host a Commonwealth Games,” Tkatchenko said.
“The issue as well is we need to test these facilities and know how they operate.”
He said the Taurama Aquatic Centre has proven to be an internationally accredited venue after over 30 records tumbled there over the first week of competition.
“That is a history set for PNG and the Pacific.
“No other Pacific Games have achieved over 30 Games records in swimming. That is a bonus for us. We have created many records in that pool.
“We have set a precedence in our facilities.” The National
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