10 Jul 2015

Sport: Games organisers apologise for medals gaffe

7:05 am on 10 July 2015

Pacific Games organisers have apologised for an embarrassing gaffe in which countries were awarded medals in team shooting despite the event not being a part of the Games programme.

2015 Pacific Games Mascot.

2015 Pacific Games Mascot. Photo: RNZ / Vinnie Wylie

Papua New Guinea were declared winners of the team air pistol event, with Tahiti and Fiji taking silver and bronze.

But New Caledonia successfully appealed the result, arguing that there was in fact no team event listed in the charter for the 2015 Games.

The Chef de Mission for Team PNG, Richard Kassman, says the decision not to include a team event was made months ago but was not clearly communicated.

"The Games Organising Committee and the Pacific Games Council were quite embarrassed about how this was allowed to have come this far, where we had nominated shooters for these events - they'd been accredited - but the rule is clear. As much as I'm unhappy that we've lost a gold medal to our tally we've got to abide by the rule-book."

Richard Kassman says the athletes have been allowed to keep their medals but it won't count towards the official Games tally.

The Pacific Games Council has opened an investigation into the mistake.

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