PNG 400m sprint king pull out of Pacific Games

Pacific Games 400m sprint champion Nelson Stone has pulled out. Picture: POST COURIER

PORT MORESBY, 25 APRIL 2019 (POST COURIER) – One door closes while another one opens.

And this could be true for Pacific Games 400m sprint champion Nelson Stone.

The curtain has fallen down on his colourful sporting career.

As a six-year-old growing up in the suburb of Tokarara, Moresby North-west electorate in the National Capital District, Nelson like other youths turned to sports to keep them occupied.

The news of him pulling out will also see him unable to defend his 400m gold medal title at the Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa in July. Nelson won the 400m gold medal at the Pacific Games in Port Moresby in 2015.

Nelson has secured a job with Budget Car and Truck Rental as a sales consultant. It has given him a new lease of life – something he says he is truly humbled by and grateful of.

“I am truly humbled and thankful to the general manager Tanya Mairi and John Mangos for seeing the potential in me thereby employing me. They have given me a new lease of life after sport,” Stone said in an interview with the Post-Courier.

Stone, from Kairuku and Hula in the Central province is an all rounder sports person.

He started his sporting career with taekwondo which was pretty much influenced by his role model and dad, Master Jamuga Stone.

He made a big jump in his short stint in taekwondo to represent PNG at the age of nine years old and was then primed for greater things.

He started winning medals at various tournaments in the sport of Taekwondo, and won the first-ever gold medal at the Pacific Games in 1993.

From there on, he never looked back. But with politics creeping into the sport it was not long when Stone would quit the sport and shatter his dreams. And it did when he was about to board the plane for the 2003 South Pacific Games.

In 2004, he switched to rugby league where he made the Monier Broncos side and later joined up with the Wari Vele Raiders. Finally, he made the Masta Mak City Rangers in the semi-professional rugby league competition – the Inter-city Cup that time before switching to athletics.

Stone said the 20-plus years of his life in sport was a roller coaster ride but there was nothing planned by various sporting organisations to fall back on after sports to look after him and his family.

“That is the reason and for personal reasons I had to call it off. I am now making it official that I have retired from my entire sporting career but I will still help in my community or organisation that needed my help,” Stone said.

“I represented my country with pride and raising the flag at various international events including two Commonwealth Games and three World Championships was nothing compared to my life back at home. I was just an ordinary youth back at Tokarara.”

Thousands of his followers locally and abroad will be shocked on hearing about Stone’s retirement from the sports on athletics.

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