Kiribati at the 2004 Summer Olympics

Kiribati competed in the Summer Olympic Games for the first time at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, from August 13–29, 2004. The country sent three representatives to the Games: two in athletics and one in weightlifting.[1] As of 2012, Meamea Thomas has the best finish of any I-Kiribati athlete in Olympic history. Kiribati did not win medals at these Games.

Kiribati at the
2004 Summer Olympics
Flag of Kiribati.svg
IOC codeKIR
NOCKiribati National Olympic Committee
Websitewww.oceaniasport.com/kiribati
in Athens
Competitors3 in 2 sports
Flag bearer Meamea Thomas
Medals
Gold
0
Silver
0
Bronze
0
Total
0
Summer Olympics appearances (overview)

BackgroundEdit

The 2004 Olympics were Kiribati's first Games, along with East Timor.[2] Kiribati had interest in Olympic participation in the 1980s, and the country later formed their National Olympic Committee (NOC) in 2002, which was recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2003.[3]

Weightlifter Meamea Thomas was the flagbearer for the Opening Ceremonies.[4] During the ceremony, the men wore grass skirts with braided hair belts. Kaitinano Mwemweata wore a skirt of coconut leaves with a woven grass top.[5] For the closing ceremonies, Mwemweata was the flagbearer.[6]

AthleticsEdit

Both athletes did not know they were going to compete until a couple of weeks prior to the Olympics. A competitor broke their foot, and another's fear of flying prevented their trip to the Games, opening up two spots for I-Kiribati athletes. The I-Kiribati athletes had to travel to Australia early so they could learn how to use starting blocks.[7]

Kakianako Nariki's competed in his first and only Olympics.[8] Nariki was afraid of being disqualified because there were false starts in his heat.[5] He ended up finishing seventh in his heat, with a time of 11.62, beating disqualified athlete Marc Burns.[8]

Kaitinano Mwemweata competed in the women's 100 meter dash.[9] She finished the race with a time of 13.07 seconds, a personal best she was very excited about.[5] She finished seventh in her heat, failing to advance to the next round.[9]

KeyEdit

  • Note–Ranks given for track events are within the athlete's heat only
  • Q = Qualified for the next round
  • q = Qualified for the next round as a fastest loser or, in field events, by position without achieving the qualifying target
  • NR = National record
  • N/A = Round not applicable for the event
  • Bye = Athlete not required to compete in round

MenEdit

Athlete Event Heat Quarterfinal Semifinal Final
Result Rank Result Rank Result Rank Result Rank
Kakianako Nariki 100 m 11.62 7 Did not advance

WomenEdit

Athlete Event Heat Quarterfinal Semifinal Final
Result Rank Result Rank Result Rank Result Rank
Kaitinano Mwemweata 100 m 13.07 7 Did not advance

WeightliftingEdit

Although Meamea Thomas won gold in the men's −85 kg in the Oceania Championships, he did not automatically qualify and later received a wildcard entry.[2]

Thomas competed in the men's −85 kg weightlifting competition, finishing 17th in the snatch and 13th in the clean and jerk. Overall, he finished 13th out of 21 competitors.[10][11] As of the 2012 Olympics, Meamea Thomas has the highest finish of any I-Kiribati athlete in Olympic history.[12]

Athlete Event Snatch Clean & Jerk Total Rank
Result Rank Result Rank
Meamea Thomas Men's −85 kg 130 17 162.5 13 292.5 13

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Lopresti, Mike (19 August 2004). "Small step at Olympics is giant leap for tiny island nation". USA Today. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  2. ^ a b Bingham, Eugene (July 31, 2004). "First-time Olympians beat odds". NZ Herald. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  3. ^ Grasso, John; Mallon, Bill; Heijmans, Jeroen (May 14, 2015). Historical Dictionary of the Olympic Movement. Rowman & Littlefield.
  4. ^ "Kiribati". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on April 17, 2020. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Majendie, Paul (August 25, 2004). "Athletes from Kiribati make Games history". Hindustan Times. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  6. ^ "Flag Bearers for the Closing Ceremony". Olympic.org. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  7. ^ Fraser, Andrew (August 3, 2004). "Kiribati's Olympic adventure". BBC. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Kakianako Nariki". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on April 18, 2020. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Kaitinano Mwemweata". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on April 17, 2020. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  10. ^ Seven competitors did not have a qualifying lift, leaving the eligible field at 14
  11. ^ "Official Results Book" (PDF). Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games Athens 2004. Archived (PDF) from the original on September 11, 2008. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  12. ^ "Meamea Thomas". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on April 18, 2020. Retrieved May 4, 2018.

External linksEdit