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Friday 9 September 2011 | Published in Regional


Fireworks will be one of the highlights of the Pacific Games closing ceremony on Saturday night (tonight in Noumea) to be attended by a small group of 22 Team Cook Islands athletes and officials.

The programme for the ceremony was to be confirmed the night before the event or by midday on the day of the closing.

The majority of the 115 Team Cook Islands athletes have returned home leaving just athletes from athletics, beach volleyball and weightlifting to choose a closing ceremony flag bearer.

Chef de mission George George says that double gold medallist and sailor Helema Williams, who was the opening ceremony flag bearer, was his first choice for the honour of carrying the flag again at the closing.

However, the sailing team are booked to depart Noumea on the morning of the closing ceremony.

My first choice would be Helema and second choice Teau but if they are leaving we have to look around at the calibre of athletes left behind for the closing ceremony, says George.

However, he says that if the two sailing girls are not available as it seems they wont be the honour could fall on the shoulders of triple silver medallist Sam Pera Jnr.

But we will make our decision before we depart for the closing ceremony it looks like Sam will be our flag bearer but we will just wait and see.

The closing ceremony will begin at 8.30pm on Saturday night and is expected to wrap up at around 10pm.

Remaining Team Cook Islands athletes and managers will depart Noumea on Sunday morning and overnight in Auckland before making their way home.