The Oil Search Pacific Games Relay arrived in Western Province and after a detour to Kiunga due to heavy cloud the team took a pair of helicopters, in convoy, back up the hill to Tabubil, home of Platinum Pacific Games sponsor OTML.
The Relay’s first stop was to Finalbin primary School, situated just below the rich copper and gold mine of OTML.
The 400 students sang the national anthem as they raised the flag and then passed the baton around to every child.
From there the Baton travelled around Tabubil on a town Relay organised with military precision and ending up with the usual chaotic enthusiasm that follows the Baton wherever it goes.
The Relay was started by new OTML chairman, Sir Moi Avei who passed the Baton on to representatives from across the community and the schools here in Tabubil.
Special guest runners of the Baton included the Team Papua New Guinea boxing squad who are in Tabubil doing high altitude training at the OTML gymnasium facilities for the next week.
They have become regular guests of the Games sponsor, OTML and hope this training leads to great success at the Pacific Games.
In what is now a regular occurrence, people lined the streets with banners of support for Team Papua New Guinea.
Banners read “You are not alone, You are, We are, PNG” and “These are the moments to remember and think about our athletes, heroes are born, legends will rise, this is our time, these are our games, go PNG”.
The relay heads up to Oksapmin and Nomad tomorrow and then back to Tabubil to visit the Ok tedi mine.