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Catering concerns: Gastro outbreak at Pacific Games

Monday July 15, 2019 Written by Published in Other Sports
Ruby Pierre in action in a tournament interrupted by illness. 19071411 Ruby Pierre in action in a tournament interrupted by illness. 19071411

TWO Cooks tennis players at the Pacific Games are thought to have contracted food poisoning. The team is blaming contaminated food for acute gastroenteritis suffered by Ruby Pierre and Tamarua Payne.


Manager Davina Hosking-Ashford told Cook Islands News the two athletes were diagnosed with acute gastroenteritis last Wednesday. The illness was “most likely as a result of food” consumed by the players.

The Games have been catered by independent contractors, who were already embroiled in controversy after half the participating athletes at the Games missed out on being fed the night of the opening ceremony.

Payne and Pierre had both played in the first two days of competition at the tournament, before being forced to default their next matches due to illness.  “Unfortunately, the girls are now out of the medal race but still holding their heads high and proud,” Hosking-Ashford said.

The women’s team met Northern Marianas in their third match-up, with Pierre going down 0-6, 1-6 against Isabel Heras, whilst Anderson was defeated by Carol Lee 1-6, 2-6.  They lost the doubles match 3-6, 4-6.

In the men’s third match-up against Samoa, Payne lost to Leon Soonalole 2-6, 3-6, whilst Baudinet’s match and the doubles match were ruled a dead-tie.  Hosking-Ashford said: “The team is keeping well and their energy levels up in preparation for individual events – singles, doubles, mixed doubles.”

On Saturday, Payne was forced to default his match, as was Pierre. Hosking-Ashford said the pair were recovering with “lots of water, ginger ale, crackers and resting well”.

The individuals competition began on Saturday, with Jason Pierre losing to Camden Camacho of Guam 3-6, 2-6. Hosking-Ashford beat Penina Kamu of Samoa 3-6, 6-2, 6-1. Jason and Hosking-Ashford lost to Raynal Singh and Ruby Coffin of Fiji 6-7, 6-2, 6-10. Baudinet and Anderson beat Kristen Pavitt and Anasis Saipele of Samoa 6-2, 6-1 in their match-up.

Competition continued again yesterday. Results were unavailable at the time of going to print.

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