By Staff Reporter : PNG Today
Delegates expressed their disappointment at the total lack of Government support for the Sport in 2016 despite the outstanding achievements at the 2015 Pacific Games when PNG won 22 of the 44 gold medals on offer in Athletics, presenting 25% of all gold medals won by Team PNG. This was after hearing reports that all funding ceased immediately after the Games, meaning that several young athletes from rural areas who were identified in the lead up to the Games and made good progress last year are still at home in their respective villages.
These include Karo Iga (Central) , Bonaventure Polau (Manus) and Timothy Maggie (Markham). President Tony Green said that 2016 was a difficult year and APNG had worked hard to retain a good number of its top athletes in the sport. “More needs to be done to develop talented PNG based squad members such as Idau Asigau who surprised everyone at the Games with a fantastic 7.32m long jump but hasn’t been seen since”. Despite these setbacks however Green expressed confidence that the consistent and long term programmes adopted by APNG will see PNG retain its position in 2017 as the #1 Pacific Island Nation in Athletics.