The National, Monday 03rd December, 2012
By KEITH PUARIA
HOSTS East New Britain have been declared overall winners of 5th PNG Games which ended last Friday in Kokopo.
Despite tying with the National Capital District on 39 gold medals, the hosts’ superior silver medal count of 51 to NCD’s 21 enabled them to finish on top.
PNG Games council member Idris Kumbruwah confirmed yesterday after the NCD were declared the winners at Friday’s closing ceremony.
Kumbruwah said the results had not been fully completed when NCD werenamed the winners and the decision to change the tally was made after all scorecards were finalised.
“The tally room got the information that they needed to finalise the tally,” Kumbruwah said.
“After going through all the scorecards and the categories of competition thoroughly, there were two entries that were not made in kickboxing,” the National Sports director said
He said the two entries were the 69-71kg and 72-74kg divisions, where ENB fighters did not fight due to the withdrawal of their Bougainvillean opponents, which Kumbruwah said should have been awarded to ENB kick boxers.
In international competitions, a medal is awarded to the competitor who present in a forfeiture.
It is not known why the AROB fighters were unable to compete.
NCD were declared winners at the closing ceremony with 39 gold, 21 silver and 35 bronze medals for a total of 95 medals followed by the hosts with 37 gold, 51 silver and 35 bronze medals.
The additional gold medals took the host team to equal 39 gold with NCD but ahead with a total medal tally of 125.
The change to the tally and the declaration of the overall winners have been slammed by NCD Governor Powes Parkop, who also described East New Britain’s inclusion of “elite” track athletes as an abuse of the PNG Games charter and spirit of the games.
NCD Governor Powes Parkop was fuming yesterday over the awarding of two additional gold medals to East New Britain who he claimed had breached the games rules.
ENB were given the two gold medals in kicking boxing to draw level with NCD on the gold medal tally but put them ahead on the total medal tally.
Locked on 35 gold apiece going into the kickboxing competition on Friday, NCD picked up four gold to ENB’s two to finish with 39 gold, two ahead of the home team.
However, it is believed the director of the National Sports Institute and founder of the PNG Games concept, Edris Kumbruwah, later awarded two more gold medals to ENB as their finals opponents from Bougainville had withdrawn from the competition on the final day for unspecified reasons.
The two additional gold put ENB on 39 gold, 51 silver and 35 bronze medals, giving them the edge over NCD with 39 gold, 21 silver and 35 bronze medals.
Parkop asked why this was not announced by the tournament director Stanley Nandex at the end of the kickboxing competition on Friday.
He also slammed games athletics officials and the PNG Sports Foundation for allowing national and international athletes to compete in individual events.
The governor said ENB and Morobe were the main culprits as they won a bulk of their gold medals in athletics by fielding “elite’’ athletes.
Parkop said under the games charter, elite athletes were allowed only to compete in the relay and not individual events.
“We only had Nelson Stone and we used him in the relay,’’ Parkop said.
“Stone would have won the sprint treble (100m, 200m, 400m) and we would have been clear winners in the end. But we were honest, we did not want to cheat.
“ENB breached the rules of the games. That’s how they won 16 gold medals in athletics. All the gold medals won by their elite athletes should be stripped, we will see where they will be placed.”
“If not then they have made a mockery of the games charter and the athletics officials and PNGFOC should be ashamed for allowing this to happen.
“The charter is clear, everyone else followed the rules. They didn’t.”