MOST sports got off to a good start last Friday, day one of the PNG Games proper with cricket, touch rugby powerlifting, volleyball, basketball, lawn bowls, darts and paralympic sports.
The organisation and preparation of teams and events is still an ongoing task as organisers still adjust competitions when the need arises.
Several teams in different codes have not arrived in Port Moresby yet but PNG Games organisers and in particular tournament directors for the affected codes have made the adjustments.
First medal presentations were made in powerlifting on Saturday which saw team NCD rake in the lion’s share with 10 medals, eight gold and two bronze.
This haul has shot them to the lead on the medal tally.
In the darts team event Madang surprised other dart powerhouses in Morobe and NCD taking gold.
In cricket, gold medal favourites NCD had a scare from Team Morobe in their opening round hit out last Friday before reeling in a competitive total. The six team format pits a strong NCD team against several outside centres in what many predict will be a forgone conclusion.
The unavailability of two participating teams has made the odds for medals that much better for the remaining four.
Wet weather on Saturday conspired to disrupt several out-door sports.
The bat and ball codes, softball and cricket, had their schedules affected while touch rugby, basketball and lawn bowls soldiered on in the inclement weather.
Other stories coming out of the PNG Games’ opening three days were several incidents of unsportsmanlike behaviour by certain teams.
In touch rugby Sunday afternoon matches at Murray Barracks were called off after members of a provincial team took exception to what they considered unfair calls by the match referee.
The referee was allegedly assaulted and the match was called off.
Also in touch rugby another provincial team caused its supporters embarrassment with its constant complaining on the match official’s rulings causing that match to be called off as well.
In weightlifting which concluded yesterday evening NCD were once again dominant while Eastern Highlands, Morobe, Western Highlands and Central figured in the medal placings.
The following days will see competition ramp up in intensity as teams and provinces continue the race for medals. Basketball, netball, softball and soccer will see venues around Moresby attracting good crowds even on working days with support from the viewing public sure to increase.
Athletics promises to be a large crowd puller as well with the Sir John Guise Stadium track set to come alive tomorrow afternoon with the start of the track and field events.