The National, Tuesday September 15th, 2015
TEAM PNG to the Commonwealth Youth Games in Apia, Samoa returned home yesterday minus its Australian-based athletes.
Violet Apisah and Mike Stubbings had to travel back to Australia, while the home-based athletes arrived safely in Port Moresby after a long delay in Nadi, Airport, Fiji.
Weightlifting officials Frank Robby and Dika Toua arrived on Sunday ahead of the team.
Robby, who was very impressed with the performance of Team PNG, congratulated Thaddeus Katua for winning the first gold medal at the Games for PNG.
“This will go down as history for PNG,’ said the veteran weightlifting sports administrator and technical official.
Looking tired upon arrival, the Katoa shied away from media queries regarding his gold medal victory.
PNG Boxing Union John Avira was the happiest man at the Jacksons International Airport arrival lounge, welcoming his troops from a well-deserved victory from Apia, Samoa.
Avira said boxing had set the benchmark at the full Commonwealth Games and has replicated the effort in the Commonwealth Youth Games.
Previous Commonwealth winners for PNG boxing were Tumat Sogolik (Canada) and Lynch Ipera (Malaysia).
Chef de mission Alu Ravusiro said it was an amazing day for the team.
She commended the medal winners and Team PNG for giving their best shot at the Youth Games.
Ravusiro extended the congratulatory message from PNG Olympic Committee and the national federations, whose athletes have made history for the country at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Apia, Samoa.
She recalled the moment at the boxing venue in the Tuana’imato Sporting Complex as exhilarating and patriotic when Katoa fought and won gold against Northern Ireland’s Tiernan Bradley.