4 Sep 2007

Gear problems in Apia see Games decathlon become an octathlon

7:28 pm on 4 September 2007

The opening day of track and field at the South Pacific Games in Samoa today saw the decathlon reduced to eight events.

The pole vault and the high jump were cancelled, with the event renamed an actathlon, while the 1500 metres was cut to a one kilometre race.

The reasons for the cut include the pole vault equipment not arriving in the country after the delivery ship had to turn back because of bad weather.

The changes did not go down well with the president of Tahiti's National Olympic Committee, Louis Provost.

"No we are not very happy because we have in December the Oceania event - the same programme, and have not the parts for the pole vault and now eight months later we have not the parts, and this is a real problem because we lost three medals - it is not normal."

But the Games athletics technical delegate Janelle Eldridge says they had no option but to rename the event.

Without pole vault equipment we cannot run a decathlon so either we had no multiple event or we ran an octathlon which is eight events instead of the ten.