PNG National Championships
Debono Paraka broke his own National Record in the mens discus throw on Saturday at the Sir Ignatius Kilage stadium during the National Track and Field Championships. His throw of 49.01 metres was an improvement of 75cm on the record of 48.24cm that he set in Port Moresby last year.
Other highlights of the championships were some great performances in both the mens and womens steeplechase, the womens 1500m and 5000m and exciting finishes in both the mens and womens 800m. A very competitive womens 5000m on Friday evening produced some great times with Rama Kumilgo winning in 18min 31 secs from Miriam Goiye (18:39) and Ongan Awa ( 18min 58). Goiye continued her great form on Saturday by edging out Jenny Albert in the 1500m with another top performance of 4min 50 seconds from Albert ( 4:52) and Rama Kumilgo (4:53). Sapolai Yao was in great form in the mens steeplechase, winning in 9min 35seconds from Skene Kiage who ran a personal best 9min 42. The womens 3000m steeplechase saw a surprise winner in Carolyn Mando from Simbu who surged past pre race favourite Rama Kumilgo in the closing stages of the race. Both girls ran great times with Mando going to second place on the all time best performance list with her 11min 52 seconds and Kumilgo third on the list with her 11:54. Only national record holder Poro Gahekave has run a faster time in this event
In other field events Peniel Richard finally cleared the magic 2.0 metre barrier in the mens high jump after threatening to do so since the PNG Games last year. Local boy Steven Ray impressed in the mens long jump by winning the event over more favoured national athletes. 17 year old Ephraim Lerkin of new Ireland caused an upset in the mens 400m hurdles by placing second behind Mowen Boino in 54.29 secs, ahead of older and more experienced athletes. Jane Pulu impressed in the womens throws with a personal best 39.30metres to win the javelin competition despite being hampered by a groin injury. Pulu also won the shot put the previous day with 10.74m.
Helen Philemon had an outstanding day on Saturday in the heptathlon accumulating a big score with personal best performances in the 100m hurdles, high jump and shot put. However three fouls in the long jump on Sunday ruined what looked like being a massive personal best overall score for the heptathlon.
Nancy Malamut of ENB impressed in the womens sprints, winning both the 100m and 200m.Another new talent was discovered in these events with Charline Giuka of Lae placing second in both .