Donna Koniel sets New 400m hurdles National record
A national record by Donna Koniel in the womens 400m hurdles was the highlight of a top weekend for PNG athletes at the Queensland Championships in Brisbane. After a huge night on Friday when she ran a personal best in the qualifying round and soon afterwards had to run qualifying heats in both the 800m and 400m ; and then running the 800m final on Saturday, Koniel showed great strength to produce a sensational run in Sundays 400m hurdles final. Following coachGlynis Nunn’s advice to the letter the PNG girl used her strength to run down the field in the home straight and was heading to the line neck to neck with Emily First of the University of Queensland. Though Koniel missed the gold medal by just one one hundredth of a second her reward was a national record time of 59.56 seconds, eclipsing the time of 59.77 run by Sharon Kwarula last year.
ToeaWisil ranseasons best times in both the 100m and 200m , running away from the field in the 200m to win by a huge margin. With big races to come in Sydney , Melbourne and then the National Championships in Brisbane, Wisil is in the sort of form that could produce national records before the end of the Australian season. MowenBoino was also in great form, running 51.51 seconds in the 400m hurdles, his best time since 2013. The four time Pacific Games Champion had his 2014 campaign affected by injury but has once again shown that he is still the man to beat in this event. Nineteen year old Peniel Joshua shows the makings of a future champion , clocking an impressive personal best of 53.76 seconds which was a big improvement on his gold medal winning time of 55.10 secs at the PNG Games.
Peniel Richard was also in good form in the triple jump and although he had the benefit of a following wind of 2.2 metres per second his 14.71m is significantly better than his best performance in 2014 which was 14.11. Fellow New Irelander Wesley Logoravais developing into a very good sprint hurdler and clocked a big personal best of 15.82 secs for the 110m hurdles. Nelson Stone was also in great form in the 200m clocking 21.28 seconds, albeit with the aid of a following wind of 2.3mps. Despite a slow start to his season, this together with his solid 100m times show that his preparations for the Games are going well. Young KaminielMatlaun again showed his quality with several very good runs in both the 400m and 800m. The 18 year old Utmei Secondary school student tops the PNG rankings this year in both the 400m and 800m with his time of 48.74 and 1min 55.08 respectively at the Championships.
Meanwhile over in Albuquerque at the weekend , apart from Rellie Kaputin’s record breaking triple jump, Theo Piniau was also showing great form in the 400m on the 200m indoor track. Despite having to check his stride when a runner cut in front of him at the halfway mark, Piniau ran 48.99 seconds which is his best indoor performance to date. Teammate John Rivan eased up when he felt tightness in his hamstring and decided to save himself for the outdoor season.