Fifteen weightlifters flew in from Brisbane Thursday afternoon to a buzzing Games village.
The athletes are the first of the 43-strong Australian Team set to compete in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea in four sports.
They’ll join four thousand athletes from 24 countries and territories across the Pacific competing in 28 sports, across two weeks.
Dual Commonwealth Games athlete Belinda van Tienan will compete in the 75kg+ category at the Pacific Games.
The 28-year-old will use this week’s competition as a stepping stone to the weightlifting World Championships in Texas, USA later this year.
She says the Games competition will be a high standard.
“I will know a lot of the competitors because it is the same people we compete against at the Oceania Championships.
“It’ll be great to compete in front of a huge crowd at the stadium, I’ve heard tickets to weightlifting are almost sold out.”
For teammate Philip Wood, the Games will be his first in the green and gold.
Wood became an Australian citizen less than a month ago and is excited to represent his new country.
“I’m very excited to make my first Australia team,” he said.
The 28-year-old took up weightlifting two years ago and has only competed at six competitions.
“I don’t know much about the competition yet but I’m expecting it to be tough with all the Pacific nations.”
The weightlifting Team will be joined by Australia’s sailors and rugby sevens athletes before Saturday’s Opening Ceremony at the Sir John Guise Stadium.
Australia’s taekwondo athletes will arrive in the second week of the Games.