Team Tonga

PM congratulates Team Tonga

“I am very proud of all of the members of Team Tonga for having won the highest number of Gold Medals as well as the highest number of overall Medals in the Apia Games, in comparison to previous Pacific Games in which Tonga has participated. This is a major achievement for Tonga and full credit must go to the individual members of Team Tonga as well as the Managers, Coaches and support staff,” Mr Pohiva said.

Key players to watch in the Men's Division of the 2019 Pacific Games

Today, all of the brightest stars in the Pacific take center stage in a bid to fly their respective flags high in this prestigious quadrennial basketball showpiece.

So here are the top players to watch from eight different teams set to slug it out for the Pacific Games crown:

TAI WESLEY (GUAM)

Tai Wesley is Guam’s most decorated player, having stops in different ranks and leagues in the world.

Tongan king and noble donate to cash-strapped athletes

King Tupou VI has donated nearly $US9000 to help the country's athletes get to the Pacific Games in Samoa next month.

Former Noble MP Lord Vaea, who is the King's brother-in-law, has also pledged to match the donation.

The moves come after the King visited the team and was told they were short of funds.

In 2017, Tonga belatedly pulled out of hosting the games, with the government and Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva expressing fear the country would accumulate too much debt.

Team Tonga wins 2 gold, 2 silver at Special Olympics World Games

Siaosi Palanite won a gold medal in the 100m sprint while Ane Tuiketei scooped gold in the shot put event.

Manatu Paletu’a and Paula Tupou each picked up a silver medal for shot put.

Team Tonga coach, Fehoko Tu’ivai said the athletes were extremely happy and excited with their win.

The athletes are looking forward to returning home and seeing their families this weekend.

Tonga last won a gold medal at the Special Olympics in Los Angeles in 2015.

The medal was won by Tomasi Ma’asi in the 100m sprint.

All go for Team Tonga Mini Games flight

It had agreed to cover the full cost of the flights to Port Vila two weeks ago but a payment deadline from Air Vanuatu passed without any contact from the government.

TASANOC Secretary General Takitoa Taumoepeau said a meeting was held on Tuesday to resolve the impasse, with the government ultimately offering to contribute a much smaller amount.

"What we had requested to government we only got one third of that amount, which was about 165-166 thousands - so there was no point of asking back," he said.

Team Tonga waiting on govt to pay for Mini Games flight

Team Tonga Chef de Mission 'Amanaki Fakakovikaetau, who is also a member of TASANOC's Executive Committee, said the government only told them last Wednesday it would pay for the flight, which is scheduled to leave on Thursday.

He said the original payment deadline from Air Vanuatu has since passed but the airline have kept the door open while they wait to hear from the government.

"But they've also been negotiating how we're going to do this payment and we're still waiting for the confirmation and the letter from government that they are going to do that," he said.

Pacific-based league players to impress at Ohana cup

Two players were ruled out after picking up injuries during last week's 24-16 defeat by the Fiji Residents in Suva, while two more players were unable to join the team in Hawaii because of visa issues.

Tonga govt finally offers financial support to Rio athletes

RNZ reports the agreement was signed on Friday by the President of Tonga's National Olympic Committee, Lord Tupou, and CEO of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, responsible for Sports, 'Ana Bing Fonua.

The Interim CEO and Secretary General of TASANOC, Takitoa Taumoepeau, said it's been made clear that the money was to be used for insurance, outfits and incidentals of team members.

Last month Mr Taumoepeau said an initial request for financial support had been rejected by the government.

Tonga to learn from Pacific Games travel failures

Last week the government had to front up the travel bill for 59 remaining athletes whose federations failed to pay their air fares to Papua New Guinea to compete in this year's Pacific Games.

The Minister of Youth, Employment and Sports, Fe'ao Vakata, says the Tonga Amateur Sports Association and other federations were disorganised and it's the last time the government will front up travel money due to their lack of preparation.

Vakata says the Ministry will work on setting up a separate institute of sports for Tonga alongside criteria for selected federation members.