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Athletes settle into Noumea village

Saturday 27 August 2011 | Published in Regional

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The majority of Team Cook Islands athletes and officials are now in the athletes village in Noumea settling in for what is going to be two hectic weeks of Pacific Games competition.

Theres been little time for athletes to sight-see as they get familiar with the newly built village complex at the University of New Caledonia which will become student accommodation after the games.

Close to 4000 athletes and officials are being housed in the new accommodation which has received some mixed reviews for being small and modest.

The Cook Islands athletes have no real complaint about their home for the next two weeks, however other countries such as Papua New Guinea are reportedly in in-complete accommodation blocks which dont include beds.

Officials have assured that any issues will be dealt with as the games progress over the next 10 days.

On Saturday morning before the opening ceremony the national mens soccer team had their first battle on the field as more Team Cook Islands athletes arrived into New Caledonia.

The team were unsuccessful against 12th in the world ranked Papua New Guinea who convincingly beat the Cooks 4-0.

Despite the loss, the team kept their heads held high and were supported by the buzzing athletes who had just arrived into the village.

There was little time for the team to be brought down by the disappointment of losing the game as they flew into preparation mode for the opening ceremony.

It has been a hectic first day in New Caledonia for athletes and officials with the village locked down for the afternoon for the visit of French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

Before the visit by the French president, a full sweep of the grounds was conducted by French militia with rumours rife of snipers on some of the roofs in the village.

From Monday on, the spotlight will shift from Sarkozy to athletes who will take to the field for battles on the sports field.

with Team Cook Islands in New Caledonia