Hanua Bada, the home of PNG’s gold medalist, Dika Toua and Steven Kari played host to a massive welcome celebrations for the two commonwealth champions.
Upon their arrival from Scotland yesterday, the duo were escorted by a huge crowd of Motuans from the airport around the national’s capital and to their homeland, Hanua Bada.
The celebration is believed to be the first biggest welcome ceremony in the village’s history.
It’s a significant moment and the villagers have a prime reason to celebrate.
The two gold medallists have placed Hanua Bada in front of other villagers in PNG by scoring the nations’ only gold medals in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth games.
The village cricket ground at Elevala was packed with close to three thousand people, including children who gathered to witness the arrival of their champions.
Flying the PNG flag on home soil, the duo were given a spectacular welcome by their relatives who have supported them all the way to the heaviest weight lifting category.
Though they carried the name of PNG, it was constant encouragement from their coach and personal determination that earned them the highest place in the medal ladder.
Heath minister and member for Port Moresby North West Michael Malabag when congratulating the hero and heroine challenged the government to focus more on training local athletics during their preparation stages.
The trio including their former coach Douglass Mea were also presented cheques of over K250 000 from Turkai Industries, Central governor Hoada Kila and minister Malabag as financial support for the Weight Lifting Federation.
Dika is now the current record holder for the Commonwealth Women’ Weight Lifting Category with a new record of 193kg.