Annie Topal to USA
Pacific Games medallist in the womens triple jump Annie Topal has secured a scholarship to attend New Mexico Highlands University in the USA. NMHU is in the city of Las Vegas NM and their athletes compete in Division 2 of the NCAA Programme. Topal was a surprise bronze medallist at the 2015 Games, producing an 11.99m national junior record jump to finish third behind Rellie Kaputin (Gold) and Milika Tuivanuavou of Fiji who had just completed her four year US University programme. “Annie’s performance attracted the attention of a number of Colleges said Athletics PNG Secretary Philip Rehder but there were a number of requirements she needed to fulfill including the SAT test and NCAA registration before any arrangements could be finalised.
The East New Britain Provincial Government has also pledged to support talented athletes from the Province to pursue a career in track and field whilst studying in the USA. This follows a PEC decision last September endorsing a submission by Athletics PNG Inc. for some assistance to its athletes studying overseas. A joint announcement about this programme will shortly be made by APNG Inc and the Office of the Provincial Administrator.