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The PNG Olympic Committee recently announced the induction of three former athletes into the PNG Sports Hall of Fame. The three are: Lawn Bowls Geua Tau, Track and Field Athlete Iamo Launa and late Sibona Oka from Weightlifting.
Late Sibona is from Aroma and Kaparoko and won a silver medal in the bantam weight class creating history as the first Games medal and the first South Pacific Games Weightlifting medal by a Papua New Guinean. He was also the first Papua New Guinean to lift at the South Pacific Games since this was the first time for weightlifting to be held at the Pacific Games.
Sibona tragically lost his life in March 2010. His award was received by his wife.
Iammo Gapi Launa was chosen from the sport of Athletics, Netball and Volleyball.
A complete all-rounder, Launa competed in two Olympic Games, two Commonwealth Games, six Pacific Games, six Pacific Mini Games and various world events – a phenomenal feat indeed.
Launa thanked her family, in particular, her late husband and two children.
“This award is the accomplishment for my dream. I want to thank god, my parents, my beloved late husband, a unique person. Without him I would never have come this far and of course my two children.” Iammo Launa
And the final inductee and no stranger to PNG sports is Geua Tau.
Geua created history during the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland, New Zealand, when she won gold – the first for PNG. She was the flag bearer to the 1991 Pacific Games and 1994 Commonwealth Games a recognition for her outstanding achievement.
I’d like to encourage up and coming athletes who are out there struggling, you must have a goal in life and sports. Look up to it and achieve it – Geua Tau
Congratulations to all three athletes for the commitment in their sport, their achievements and of course the inspiration they give to the young today.