PAPUA New Guinea will miss out on a possible gold medal at the 2015 Pacific Games after softball was dropped from the list of sports.
The sport failed to satisfy the Game’s charter on the numerical entries needed to have a competition.
The National was reliably informed that only two countries – defending champion PNG and Guam had nominated to play in the games.
PNG has won the gold medal in 1991 in Port Moresby, and defended it at the South Pacific Games in 1995 in Guam and went on to defend for the third time at the 2007 Pacific Games in Samoa making PNG the leading softball-playing country in the Pacific.
The softball officials were tightlipped on the issue which was the major cause for the delay in the destruction and construction of the Bisini softball diamonds for the Pacific Games.
According to the Pacific Games charter, any sport nominated on the programme must have at least six countries for the programme.
It is understood that lawn bowls and hockey will have problems for the venues.
The strict PNG Olympic Justification Committee requirements also compounded that softball must play three or more international tournaments as per the Justification Committee requirements.
Currently, the PNG softball federation has not send any representatives teams (both men and women) for international tournaments.
Other sports on the Pacific Games sports programme who are likely to be affected includes hockey and lawn bowls. President of the PNG Hockey Federation Kaluwin Potuan confirmed that hockey would be played only if there were six countries or more nominated for the sports to be on the programme.
“If we have six countries, then hockey will be included on the Pacific Games programme,” Kaluwin said inan interview recently.
PNG currently does not have any lawn bowls venue except at Murray Barracks which is private and for members’ use only.
Attempts to contact president of PNG softball federation Chris Bais were unsuccessful.
Port Moresby (The National)