New Zealand athlete Lesley Cantwell remains in a critical condition in hospital in the Tahitian capital, Papeete.

Cantwell, 26, collapsed after winning the 5000m race walking title at the Oceania Area Track & Field Championships yesterday afternoon and was taken to Papeete's hospital.

In a show of support to their team-mate, the other 50 athletes in the New Zealand team have decided to continue in the championships which finish on Thursday evening (NZT).

Team manager Craig Motley said "The athletes have decided to all wear arm bands and will be competing with Lesley's number written on their arms.''


Cantwell's family are being supported by Athletics New Zealand and will be on the first available flight to Papeete on Thursday (NZT).

Lesley's mother Jude was the New Zealand women's 1500m champion in 1989, while father Shaun is the deputy principal at Fiordland College and a leading athletics coach.