PNG Triathlon Sprint Championships
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PNG Triathlon Sprint Championships

As part of the preparations for the 2015 Pacific Games to be held in Port Moresby in July of this year, the 2015 PNG Sprint Triathlon Championships became a test event for the Games event, which will have a similar format.

We flew to Port as part of the Technical Team for the triathlon events, and as such were extensively briefed on how the events would run, and shown every inch of the proposed course, transition area, and the stadium where the race will finish. A lot of the infrastructure for the Games is still under construction, but the two main stadiums are well advanced. For this race however, the finish line was beside the future arena.

28 local, expat and visiting athletes took part, starting with a swim leg in Port Moresby Harbour, coming ashore at the Waterfront Shopping Centre, where the transitions were located, and would also be come Games time. I had the assistance of some of the local volunteers on stopwatches and running sheets, and they did a fantastic job, considering the whole concept of triathlon was brand-new to a lot of them.

After all athletes were safely on the bike, I strolled over to the finish line area to record the finishers on my laptop. This proved to be more of a challenge than I expected, as the high interest in the event resulted in a ‘human wall’ of interested spectators, and I had to resort to carrying my computer in my arms as I moved about to get a good view of the finishers.

Possible highlight of the day was the presentation ceremony; complete with dais for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, and a very Games-like procession to the presentation. No-one could resist getting a photo with the dais afterward.

Although not using my full array of electronic equipment, I was able to scope out exactly what needed to be done come July, and along with the rest of the Technical Delegation, I am confident we can deliver the most impressive triathlon event seen in these parts.

[Photo credit: Frank Kenny]

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