Mini Games Day 2
PNG won seven gold, three silver and a bronze medal from nine finals on a day of high drama at the Korman Stadium Port Vila today. Veteran Mowen Boino who turns 38 years old on Saturday, maintained his dominance in the 400m hurdles that goes back to 2001, winning a close race against teammate Ephraim Lerkin. Boino has won this event at every Games he has attended since 2001. PNG also went one two in the women's event with Raylyne Kanam collecting gold and Annie Topal the silver. Debono Paraka won a closely contested discus competition with a thrown of 50.17m whilst nineteen-year-old Roland Hure won the mens long jump with a national junior record of 7.08metres. Toea Wisil as expected won the women's 100m and Nazmie Lee Marai made it another double for PNG in a dramatic mens final. Fijian Aaron Powell was judged to have false started after the race had been run, a decision which did not go down well with the Fijian team. However, the judges held firm on their decision and the gold medal was awarded to Marai who had crossed the line second. Simbai Kaspar rounded off a wonderful afternoon for PNG with a magnificent 5000m victory in a very entertaining race in which the lead changed several times. Fijian Avikash Lal had a clear lead at the bell but was run down by a determined Kaspar who made his decisive move with 250m to go. Poro Gahekave put up a strong fight in the women's 5000m and was rewarded with a personal best 15min 44 seconds. Jacklyne Travertz broke her own National Record in the women's hammer, collecting the silver medal with a throw of 41.22m.
Newcomer Benjamin Aliel was the fastest qualifier for the mens 400m final with a magnificent personal best 47.99 seconds in a race in which Theo Piniau failed to qualify. There had been a false start at the first attempt to run the race and Piniau was well into the back straight before he heard the recall. The race was run too soon for him as he had insufficient time to prepare himself physically and mentally so PNG’s hopes in the final will be carried by Aliel and Lerkin. Tomorrow sees a number of gold medal opportunities for PNG with the 3000m steeple for men and women; Rellie Kaputin and Annie Topal in the triple jump; adrine Monagi in the heptathlon and the 4*100m relays.