5 Sep 2007

Decathlon fiasco overshadows first day of track and field at the South Pacific Games

10:22 am on 5 September 2007

The President of Tahiti's National Olympic Committee, Louis Provost, is fuming over the cancellation of two events from the decathlon competition at the South Pacific Games in Samoa.

Three events into the yesterday's opening action in the decathlon competitors were told the pole vault equipment was still on board a ship, still to arrive in Samoa.

The technical delegate for Athletics, Janelle Eldridge, says to make the competition legal they had to drop two events, a move that Provost says has cost Tahiti three medals

The decathlon which is now an octathlon will continue today

Highlights from Apia Park on the opening day of track and field was Papua New Guinea's, Sapolai Yao, retaining his 3,000 metre steeplechase title and 14 year old Fijian, Akesa Drotini, winning the women's 5,000 metres

The Cook Islands, Tereapii Tapoki won the first gold of the athletics, winning the women's discus

Meanwhile in the Va'a competition the Tahiti men's and women's outrigger canoeists have won gold in the respective 2500 metre V6 sprint events