FOR the first time this year, a beachathlon added some spice to the Pokawins Cup tournament as part of the Wulhou Sports Association programme in Manus, with the officially opening by Inter-Government Relations Minister and Manus Open MP Job Pomat.
Pomat was at the Lihai Beach at Lelebupi electorate on Sunday afternoon for the opening of the week-long tournament.
The beachathlon included a running leg, canoeing and swimming legs. The canoe-leg of the beachathlon replaced the cycling leg of the race.
The inaugural event attracted several participants but it was Team Dungou from Lihai village, who had the upper-hand to easily win the men’s and women’s events.
In the men’s division, Kolly Pokou (runner), Polihau James (paddler) and Kanamon Potui (swimmer) won the race ahead of 56.52 ahead of Jimmy Pius, James Luke and Daniel Polel of Werei-Loi, who came second in 56.54.
The team of Pokou, James and Potui took out the Pokawins Cup and the K600 prize money.
Two teams from Dungou finished third and fourth respectively. The third placed getters were Pongur Matai, Steven Peter, Markham Polel who clocked 57.27 and the team of Ben Bomaki, Poloswu Pakah and Paralympian John James finished in 58.52.
In the women’s division, Emma James (runner), Terry Pokou (paddler) and Lisa Pokou (swimmer) crossed the finish line in a time of 1:11.26 followed by Susan Passingan, Mary Noel and Naomi James in 1:13.14 to snatch second spot.
Steven Damien, who was one of the triathlon officials from Upsouth Events Management, was impressed with the local skills and talents on show.
Damien said the technical officials who controlled the triathlon also did an excellent job in coordinating the event.
He commended beachathlon coordinator Songan Pokawin and time keepers Armstrong Pokawin and Pikaheu Pokawin and all the checkpoint coordinators.
Damien also acknowledged the support of former Manus Governor Stephen Pokawin for his drive and financial support to have beachathlon in the Wulhou Sports Association programme for this year.
The event which kicked off on Sunday with beachathlon, continued with soccer, volleyball and darts yesterday.