The team from Tuvalu for the Pacific Games are not due to arrive in Port Moresby until two hours before the Opening Ceremony due to weather-hit journey ©TASNOC/Facebook

The team from Tuvalu competing in the the Pacific Games will not arrive here until two hours before the Opening Ceremony on Saturday (July 4) due to weather problems delaying their departure from Funafuti, insidethegames has been told.

The 113-strong delegation were due to leave on Saturday (June 27) by boat to Suva, Fiji's capital, where they were supposed to board a plane to the Papua New Guinean capital.

But a cyclone in the area has forced them to re-arrange their travel arrangements.

Their charter flight from Suva to Port Moresby was cancelled as a result. 

Another attempt for the ship to leave the Tuvalu capital Funafuti was postponed again on Monday (June 29) because of strong winds.

They finally left Tuesday at 5pm local time aboard MV Manu Folau.

Their journey by boat to Suva is due to take three days.

A plane is then due to depart from Nadi, on the western side of Fiji's main island of Viti Levu, to Port Moresby on Saturday.

There are direct flights from Tuvalu to Papua New Guinea but the size of their delegation means the only feasible option to get to Fiji is the three-day boat voyage.

Because of the time constraints of their arrival, all their athletes have been asked to arrive dressed ready to go straight to the Opening Ceremony, scheduled to begin at 7pm local time at the recently-renovated Sir John Guise Stadium.

Tuau Lapua Lapua was one of the three Tuvalu athletes who competed at the London 2012 Olympic Games
Tuau Lapua Lapua was one of the three Tuvalu athletes who competed at the London 2012 Olympic Games ©Getty Images

According to the Tuvalu Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (TASNOC), a few of their delegation, including secretary general Isala T. Isala, have already managed to make it here.

Several meetings confirming the schedule, draws and general rules for competition are planned over the coming days to finalise sporting preparations, which TASNOC were required to attend.

The small Polynesian island has a population of just shy of 10,000 and the nation made their Olympic debut at Beijing 2008 and they sent three athletes to London 2012.

Tavevele Noa competed in the men's 100 metres, while Asenate Manoa participated in the women's 100m.

Their team was complete by under 62 kilogrammes weightlifter Tuau Lapua Lapua.

Tuvalu are the least successful of the 22 countries who have competed in the Pacific Games since it was first held in 1963.

They have won just two medals, a silver and bronze. 

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