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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (August 11, 1997 - PACNEWS/Samoa News)---Athletes from throughout the Pacific Islands region have arrived in Pago Pago for the start of the 5th South Pacific Mini-Games today.

American Samoa Governor Tauese Sunia has declared opening day a territorial holiday.

The official start of the games this morning at 9:00 a.m., will feature a parade of participating athletes led by members of American Samoa's team at the first games in Fiji in 1963. Immediately following will be athletes from Vanuatu. The Melanesian country was host for the last mini-games, which took place five years ago, in 1992.

After the parade, a traditional longboat race between American Samoa and Samoa (until recently Western Samoa) will take place in Pago Pago Harbor.

Athletes from 19 Pacific Islands countries and territories will compete in a total of 11 sports. The 5th South Pacific Mini-Games will continue for 11 days.

Stories from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to >   



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