The National, Monday, May 16, 2011
PNG teams at the Arafura Games have combined to bring home a total of 58 medals after eight days of competition in Darwin.
As a result PNG finished fifth in relation to other countries excluding hosts Australia who won the most medals in Darwin.
With 17 gold, 18 silver and 23 bronze medals this eclipses 2009’s 40-medal haul which comprised eight gold, 14 silver and 18 bronze medals.
An improved performance saw Team NCD – the country’s largest group with150 athletes and officials – return 15 medals with six gold, three silver and six bronze; this after managing one silver and two bonze in 2009.
In a rematch of the 2009 Arafura Games volleyball final the VAVA representing the PNG men’s team on Saturday played Macau for the gold medal.
In a spectacular and tight match PNG once again proved too good for Macau and wining in straight sets 25-21, 26-24, 25-21.
In cricket, PNG development side the Air Niugini Crocs defeated the Australian Indigenous XI to win the gold while the PNG Hebou Hammers beat the Australian Defence Force XI in the bronze medal playoff lastFriday.
In boxing, PNG Amateur Boxing Union representative Angela Ine’e won gold in the women’s bantamweight (54kg) division.
She beat Queenslander Emma Payne on points (26-15) while PNGABU’s Charles Keama missed out after losing his second bout last Thursday.
Team NCD’s veteran Jack Willie won a silver medal after dropping a points decision to Malaysian Muhamed Redzuan in the men’s light flyweight (49kg) division.
PNG’s Kauko Raka won silver after losing to Malaysian to Xamis Mohd Subire Bin in the final of the 52kg class.
NCD’s Henry Umings took bronze after losing to Subire Bin in the semi-finals on Thursday.
In weightlifting, PNG women held their own against strong competition from Nauru and Australia.
Kathleen Hare won a bronze in the 48kg class, Rita Kari won gold in the 63kg class, Sandra Ako won bronze in the over 75kg class and Guba Hale snared silver in the 69kg class.
Steven Kari was by far the best PNG male lifter winning gold in the 85kg class.
The majority of PNG teams arrived yesterday.
Triathlon, swimming, athletics and paralympics were the other sports to contribute medals to the PNG effort.