BY ROMULUS HUTA
THE two table tennis players that will represent Solomon Islands in next month’s Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia have vowed to do their best.
Gary Nuopula and Lalma Sifi are the two national table tennis players that were selected by the Solomon Islands Table Tennis Federation (SITTF) to participate in the Games.
Though it is expected to be tough, the duo told SunSPORTS on Monday that they are ready.
“The Commonwealth Games will be tough. During the past Pacific Games I’ve knocked out in the round of 16 and missed out of the quarter finals. But this year, I’m happy to come back again to compete and represent Solomon Islands. My training so far is going well and I’m improving every day,” Nuopula said.
Nuopula added: “Since it’s my first time to compete in the commonwealth games, I will do my very best to try and compete against my opponents.
“We’re training three hours each day, six days a week at the Multipurpose Hall.
Nuopula marked his international debut for Solomon Islands during the 2009 Pacific Mini Games in Rarotonga, Cook Islands.
Recalling the Rarotonga outing nine years ago and playing at the regional stage as a teenager, Nuopula said he had grown with a lot of experiences along the way, especially taking into account the other pacific games he had competed in since 2009.
“Of course, I’m a bit nervous at first because I was playing in a different country in a completely different environment. But the thing is that I keep on believing in myself and the trainings that I went through. I’ve came a long way to be here and now is the time for me to perform to the best and there’s nothing that I should be afraid of when competing in Gold Coast.”
For the female table tennis player, Sifi is obviously following in the footsteps of her father and her elder siblings who were all former national table tennis reps.
“I think table tennis is something that is very much part of us and everyone in the family. My father and my elder sisters have in the past represented Solomon Islands in international games overseas and here I am, at it again.
“This is my first Commonwealth Games and this is an exciting opportunity for me to represent Solomon Islands.
“My aim is to perform to the best,” Sifi said.
Nuopula and Sifi will travel with the Solomon Islands contingent to Gold Coast on March 25.
The Commonwealth Games will run from April 4 to 15.