Athletics PNG is in process of finalising its team

Athletics PNG is in the process of finalising its team for the Pacific Games in Wallis and Futuna Islands following the National Track and Field Championships held at Ulapia , East New Britain at the weekend. A total of 324 athletes participated in the Championships in various age divisions from under 14 to Open. Through the Go for Gold programme , Athletics PNG was able to ensure that financial difficulties did not prevent any squad members from making it to Rabaul, with athletes being funded to attend the both the Nationals and the NGI Championships in Kavieng as well as attend a short training camp. Highlight of the championships was the mens 100m final where four athletes ran under 11 seconds electronic timing.. The race was won by Kupun Wisil in 10.83 seconds from Nazmie Lee Marai (10.87) Theo Piniau (10.91) and Junior Avefa (10.94). “The wind conditions were favourable at +2.1 but still we haven’t seen this sort of quality performance since 2010 when five athletes ran 11.01 or better” said APNG President Tony Green.Helen Philemon won the womens 100m in 12.51 with Adrine Monagi running a personal best 12.59 to edge out Venessa Waro (12.61) for second. Philemon also won the long jump with an impressive 5.51m with Rellie Kaputin second with a personal best 5.38m. The womens 200m was also a very close race with Betty Burua just edging out VenessaWaro with a much improved Shirley Vunatup third. Burua also won the 400m in 57.73 seconds with Vunatup running a huge personal best 58.21 for second and Pauline Kupai third in 59.36. Jenny Albert had a very good championships, winning the 800m in 2min 19.85 and the 1500m in 4:59.95 whereas AinaGoir and Mary Kua shared the honours in the womens long distance events. The mens 400m hurdles was another top race with PNG Games winner Manuai Kenas (NCD) just holding off a strong challenge by Penniel Joshua of New Ireland. Unfortunately Utu secondary student Raymond Koniel , winner of this event in Kavieng a week earlier was sick and unable to run . However APNG officials are very pleased to see this number of athletes running well in this event which PNG has won at every full Pacific Games since 1991. Seventeen year old KaminielMatlaun of Utmei secondary school ENB had an outstanding championships, winning the open mens 400m in 49.23secs from Kevin Kapmatana 49.42 amd Theo Piniau 49.47. Matlaun also won the open mens 800m in 1min 59.05secs from Freddie Hongoworie of NCD In the field events Mong Tavol won the mens triple jump in 14.66m with Ben Levi second in 13.68. Tavol also won the long jump in 6.39m with Levi second in 6.33m.Young Annie Topal from MalabungaSeconday had an outstanding championships winning the under 18 100m and 200m events as well as the open womens triple jump with an excellent 11.19m.Rellie Kaputin won the high jump on a countback from Adrine Monagi with both girls clearing 1.56m. The next major event for Athletics will be the Milo sponsored Southern Region Championships in Port Moresby on the weekend of August 24 to 25. Whilst the focus will be on the Primary and high school students in the under 14, under 16 and under 18 age groups, this event will present an opportunity for the Pacific Games team members to have a pre departure competition. July 16




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