A man throwing a javelin

Papua New Guinea’s Karo Iga takes gold in men’s decathlon

SAIL9660 | February 24, 2024
Iga topped the podium after two gruelling days of competition. Photos: Peter Kofana, Pacific Games News Service

Papua New Guinea’s Karo Iga won the Sol2023 Pacific Games men’s decathlon on Tuesday at Honiara’s National Stadium.

In Tuesday’s remaining five of the ten events, Iga came second in the 110m hurdles, fourth in the discus throw, second in pole vault, second in the javelin throw and third in the 1500m.

But, despite not coming first in any of Tuesday’s events, his points from day one and three second-place finishes on day two saw him complete the decathlon with 6761 points, comfortably ahead of his rivals.

Tahiti’s Timona Poareu – who came first in the 100m hurdles, discus and pole vault on Tuesday – claimed silver with 6076 points while New Zealand’s Stephen Thorpe took home bronze with 5909 points.

Max Teuruaa from Cook Islands came fourth with a total of 5127 points, Tonga’s Maleselo Fufofuka came fifth with 4130 points, Solomon Islands’ Alfred Ilisia came sixth with 3954 points and in seventh place was Solomon Islands’ Elton Tata with 3306 points.

Iga declined the opportunity to comment after his gold medal win, preferring to focus on preparations for his remaining events later this week.

Silver medallist Poareu told the Pacific Games News Service: “I’m pretty happy because in the last Pacific Games in Samoa I came third so it’s a little bit of improvement in terms of place, but not in terms of points. But it’s one to take second and I’m very happy”.

He added: “In decathlon the difference is that you’re in competition, but you make friends with your competitors because you spend two days together in the same room, do the same ten events, so it creates coalition and good fraternity so it’s very good and very different from all the other events”.

Bronze medalist Thorpe said: “I’m absolutely stoked, it’s an honor to bring a medal home and to come to my first New Zealand representative event and to secure a medal is just truly awesome”.

He added: “It’s tricky for things to go smoothly when you have got 10 different events to do, so there’s always bound to be hiccups along the way and it’s never going to go according to plan so there was plenty of things that didn’t quite fall into place that I would have loved them to, but it’s all about figuring out how to get around them”.  

By Lamantha Lano and Junior Sisima, Pacific Games News Service

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