Team PNG

Oceania Swimming Championships: Day 3

It was the 4 by 100 metre freestyle races that got the crowd roaring towards the end of the final heats for their respective teams.

Team PNG did well in the 4x100 freestyle relay; it was the men’s race that was every bit a nail-biting experience.

Team PNG’s Sam Seghers opened the race for the lads, maintaining speed with Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii.

Next in the pool was 18-year-old Josh Tarere, who put up a good challenge against Samoa’s Sitivi Sooaemalelagi, and one of Fiji’s strongest swimmers, 18-year-old Taichi Vakasama.

Team PNG share insights

This was what they had to say.

Rachel Sapery James (Triathlon): “For me it was unfinished business from 2014. I had to work really hard and made history becoming the first Papua New Guinean and Pacific Island female to compete and complete an elite international level triathlon race. I’m pretty proud of myself and it was an honour to represent PNG. I think Team PNG did an amazing job this year.”

Team PNG had an excellent Games

Speaking at the official welcome for Team PNG last night at the Gold Club, Wardley thanked the athletes and officials for giving it their best over the two weeks on the world stage.

She said PNG, like other competing nations and territories, had their fair share of achievements and disappointments.

“We had some fantastic wins, some great personal achievements with national records, seasonal bests and personal bests.

“We also suffered our share of disappointments and losses.

Kari leads Team PNG home

Sponsors, friends and family all gathered at the airport as early as 12pm to receive them.

There was dancing, singing and plenty of emotion shown by the people of Hanuabada, who turned up in truckloads.

There was an immense feeling of pride when Kari, flanked by silver medallists Dika Toua and Morea Baru, walked out of the Paradise lounge waving and holding their medals up high.

“Firstly, I want to thank God for giving me another gold medal for PNG and for my family,” said Kari.

Team PNG arrives today

The contingent will come in on three different flights:

-           QF057 - 1230pm arrival (Boxing, Athletics, Lawn Bowls, Table Tennis - 27 in total)

-           VA39 - 1pm arrival (Rugby 7s & Squash - 15 in total)

-           PX004 - 2pm arrival (GMT, Sir J, Auvita, Weightlifting, Swimming, Shooting - 23).

The official welcome for Team PNG will be held tonight at The Gold Club, Arena, Lamana Hotel and will start at 6:30pm.

Guise puts faith in team

He believes the team can make a top eight finish this weekend and is confident they can put a lot of pressure on their opponents.

Guise said the team had a “flat start” in Hong Kong due to a bout of malaria among the players prior to their game but they have recovered well and are looking forward to the matches this weekend.

He was happy with the practice run they had this afternoon and happily reported that none of the players are carrying any injuries.

“The boys are quite excited to be here with the rest of Team PNG so that’s good to see,” Guise said.

PNG makes final push as Games wind down

De’bono Paraka made history this morning to qualify for the finals tomorrow night in the men’s discus throw competition.

He finished fifth with a throw of 49.02 metres in Group A of the qualifying events this morning at the Carrara stadium.

Paraka is aiming for a National record throw in the finals.

In triple jump event earlier in the morning, Peniel Richard leaped 15.23m which was 0.32cm short of his personal best while in the women’s long jump on Wednesday night, Rellie Kaputin marked the sand at 6.81m in a long and chilly night of competition.

Vero Nime receives new prosthetic leg

Ottobock serviced Nime’s existing prosthetic to assist her with the Opening Ceremony and determined that the limb was severely damaged and really needed replacing.

They constructed the new limb and Nime went for a final fitting today.

Nime was ecstatic to receive the new prosthetic leg  “I’m so happy; it’s very light and easy to walk in it”.

The team from Ottobock will monitor Nime throughout the rest of the Games to ensure the limb fits perfectly before she leaves for home.

Lawn Bowls Finds Form Late On

Lawn Bowls athletes are a picture of calm and composure, but the competition has been one of the most hotly contested and excitingly unpredictable events at the Games. Being the busiest of all the sports on the programme, Lawn Bowls has been in competition from Day 1 of the Games and Team PNG has been on the greens in fierce competition with the other 23 countries in each of the events.

Team PNG takes time out to watch Hunters

The athletes and officials, which included women’s weightlifting silver medallist, Dika Toua, and her teammates, members of the athletics, lawn bowls and swimming teams made the journey North armed with PNG flags and banners and a lot of noise.

They met with Hunters coach, Michael Marum, and the players after the match before heading back to the Gold Coast.