South Pacific Games Gold medalist and Papua New Guinean (PNG) hall of famer, Takale Tuna, is set to be this year’s special guest speaker at the 28th SP Sports Awards (SPSA) presentation night in Port Moresby on May 29th.
This will be the first time for a local sports hero to feature as the guest speaker at the SP Sports Awards.
“The SPSA Organising Committee is delighted to invite a local talent this time, to address our live audience, on EMTV and social media. Takale Tuna was a track and field star back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He made an impact in sports in Papua New Guinea thus he is a fitting candidate to be the guest speaker,” said SPSA Chairperson, Nancy Gah.
Takale Tuna was a top sprinter who won 13 national titles: six golds and three silver medals, at the South Pacific Games throughout his athletics career. His first success was at the 1987 South Pacific Games in Noumea, New Caledonia, where he won Silver in the 100m and Gold in the 200m and 400m events – these were Team PNG Athletics’ only gold medals at the Games. His second medal was at the 1991 South Pacific Games in Port Moresby, where he produced more great results on home soil, winning 3x Gold medals (200m, 4x100m, 4x400m) and 2x Silver medals (100m, 400m). His sensational record time of three minutes 09.55 seconds ran by the 4x400m relay team was (and still is) a Pacific Games record and was a qualifying time for the 1992 Olympic Games. Their performance broke the national record, the PNG All-Comers and Pacific Islands best performance time.
In 1988, Takale Tuna was given the opportunity to be the third Olympic flag bearer for Team PNG at the Seoul Olympic Games where he competed in the 200m and 400m events, advancing to the quarter finals in the 400m event.
Tuna is ranked #4 on the PNG All Time Best List for the 100m with his time of 10.60 seconds, 2nd for the 200m with his time of 21.18 seconds, which was the National Record for 20 years and 6th for the 400m event with his time of 47.24 seconds. He held the National Records for the 100m (broken by Ezekiel Wartovo 1990), 200m (broken by Nelson Stone, 2015) and the 400m (broken by Subul Babo, 1991) events for PNG.