27 Mar 2006

PNG sports team to be given heroes' welcome

1:24 pm on 27 March 2006

A heroes' welcome is to be given to Papua New Guinea's swimming gold medallist Ryan Pini and his Commonwealth Games teammates in the nation's capital Port Moresby.

Pini won gold in the 100m butterfly ahead of Australia's Michael Klim, prompting jubilation in PNG and special congratulations to the swimmer from the prime minister, Sir Michael Somare.

Pini's gold was the second medal for PNG at the Melbourne games, following Dika Toua's silver in the women's 53kg division in weightlifting.

The PNG team is to fly into Port Moresby this afternoon to be whisked off to Sir John Guise Stadium for a welcome home parade and speeches including an address by Governor-General, Sir Paulias Matane.

Pini was born in Port Moresby in 1981 and grew up in a family of swimmers.

His grandfather John Pini, originally from Australia, led the PNG swimming team to the inaugural South Pacific Games in Suva in 1963.