PNG send the largest team to the 2014 Oceania Championships
Athletics PNG has announced its largest and strongest ever team for an Oceania Championship to participate in the 2014 edition of this bi annual event in Rarotonga Cook Islands next week.
A total of 24 athletes will travel to Rarotonga with a mixture of elite athletes and development squad members being groomed for next years Pacific Games. Two athletes have been selected for the throws with National Record holder in the mens discus Debono Paraka aiming to improve on his recent 48metre throw in Port Moresby as well as Lily Poroli (discus and shot put). Robson Yinambe and Cletus Mosi will contest the mens eight event Octathlon, whereas Eunice Steven and Adrine Monagi will contest the womens heptathlon. Helen Philemon, Rellie Kaputin, Penniel Richard and Patrick Hou will contest the jumping events. The team also includes a very strong contingent of hurdlers with Mowen Boino , Wala Gime, Sharon Kwarula and Donna Koniel all using the event to gauge their preparations for the Commonwealth Games. There are also two under 20 hurdlers in the team with Penniel Joshua from Namatanai and Raylyne Kanam from Kavieng. Kanam has been drafted into the team for the 4*400m relay as a last minute replacement for Betty Burua who is still recovering from injury, as a result of her strong showing in the national championships where she ran second to Donna Koniel in the 400m with 60.38 seconds. Nelson Stone is coming into good form at the right time and will need to be at the top of his game to hold off the two in form youngsters Theo Piniau and Kaminiel Matlaun in the 400m. Stone ran 47.47 secs in Brisbane last weekend as well as a seasons best 10.61 in the 100m. Athletics PNG President Tony Green said that the mens 4*400m relay is looking stronger now than at any time since the 1991 Games where the quartet of Takale Tuna ,Subul Babo , Baobo Neuendorf and Kaminiel Selot set a time of 3min 09.55 seconds which still stands as the national record. “With Wala Gime and Kevin Kapmatana both capable of running 47 seconds we could see the record broken this year said Green. Coaches to the Oceania Championships will be Naomi Polum and Sandy Katusele, with Sophia Marai as Team Manager. Port Moresby based throws coach Paul Bannister will also be at the Championships supporting is son Jack who is representing Australia in the U20 division.