A trans-Tasman badminton tournament being held in New Zealand was thrown into chaos yesterday after scores of competitors came down with a mystery illness.
Vomiting, headaches and diarrhoea struck about 70 of the mostly Australian field of 170 competitors in the Australasian Under-17 tournament being held in Christchurch.
One girl was admitted to hospital suffering severe dehydration.
Tournament director Lyndsay Dick said competitors and officials began to come down with the illness on Saturday night, and yesterday it had spread more widely.
"There are a few people coming down with it today, but they were feeling sick yesterday," Dick said.
Dick said the New Zealand Ministry of Health was investigating, but it was too early to say whether a bacteria or a virus was to blame for the outbreak.
"Some people like myself just had vomiting and a headache. Some have got vomiting and diarrhoea. Some have got just a headache," she said.
She said afternoon matches were cancelled yesterday because of the illness outbreak, but the tournament schedule should be back on track by tomorrow.
The tournament is an annual event held in Australia for three years and then one year in New Zealand, on a rotational basis.