PNG officials assess Pacific Games venues

Samoa is ready to host the Pacific Games. Picture: POST COURIER

APIA, 06 JULY 2019 (THE NATIONAL) – Venues for the Pacific Games are ready and looking good, however, outdoor sports can expect a slow heavy surface when they take the field.

Team PNG officials, currently in Samoa, visited the competition venues to gauge the challenges athletes should be aware of before their competition starts.

Team PNG chief medical officer Dr Kapua Kapua, trainer Kila Mala, performance coach Chris Amini and physiotherapist Mathew Natusch visited the main stadium which will host the rugby sevens, nines and athletics.

They also visited other outdoor venues, including cricket, tennis, golf, beach volleyball, touch and archery.

The indoor venues for basketball, weightlifting and powerlifting, judo, archery, netball, indoor volleyball, table tennis and taekwondo also looked good.

“We wanted to know the surface condition our athletes will be playing on so we can gauge the potential injuries to expect when the Games begin,” Kapua said.

“It’s our commitment to care for these athletes and we want to do that as best we can.”

His assessment of the outdoor venues is that the turf is ‘heavy’ which will require more grip under the foot for rugby and football players while the cricket will find the surface ‘slow’.

A former rugby international for PNG, Kapua said longer-studded boots would fare better on this surface.

With showers in Apia since last Saturday, teams will have to be prepared for the cold and wet weather when they arrive in the Samoan capital this week.

Amini advised teams to take the conditions into consideration as they were planning their training and competition schedules.

“The state of the surface of the playing field plays an important role in the performance of a team so it is good to have this information so that our teams know what to expect when they get here,” he said.

Team PNG general manager Anzillah Miro was pleased with the report from her team and added that the management would work with all the teams to ensure that they had everything thing needed to perform well during the Games.


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