PNG Games Day Three

With most of the backlog of events being cleared the day before, the programme was back on track and with better weather for the rest of the week, things were looking up. The Women’s High Jump saw Nellie Leslie (ENB) claim the gold medal with a jump of 1.56m. She won on a countback from Naomi Kerari (ENB) who jumped the same height and better her personal best height. In third was Delilah Kami (MAG) with 1.53m.

The Semi-Finals of the Women’s 100m indicated that Venessa Waro (MOR) and Shirley Vunatup (ENB) were the ones to beat in the Final. The favourites for the Men’s event were Kupun Wisil (MOR) and Solomon Kaiap (NCD). Times were slow because of the track and the strong negative wind.

The Semi-Finals of the Women’s 800m saw Tuna Tine (EHP), Poro Gahekave (EHP) and Jenny Albert (SIM) ease into the final with controlled easy runs.

With no big names in the Men’s 800m, Jerry Herman (MOR), Freddie Hongoworie (NCD) and Kaminiel Matlaun (ENB) qualified fastest for the final with modest times.

The Women’s 3000m was won by Marianna Peter (SIM) in 11:39.51 from Maria Kuanduma (SIM) 11:44.50 and Ongan Awa (EHP) with a time of 11:53.00. Most of the in-form distance runners had opted for the 5000m and 10000m races.

The Women’s Triple Jump Final saw ENB’s Annie Topal win with 11.15m (to go to third on the All Time Best List) ahead of teammate Relly Kaputin (10.92m). Nicole Lee made it an ENB sweep with her third place jump of 10.01m. This is not a strong event in the Pacific and Annie and Relly could be useful additions to the Triple Jump squad, joining Nouméa gold medal winner Betty Burua. Annie’s jump would have given her 4th place in Nouméa.

The Women’s Shot was won by Simbu’s Barbra Nicholas (9.47m) from ENB’s Jane Pulu (9.27m) and NCD’s Bonnie Moiya (8.63m). We will really have to continue our search for throwers as the top-six in Nouméa averaged 13.88m!!

Tuesday was a tough day for the sprinters with the Preliminaries of the 200m events. In the Women’s the leading lights after this round were Venessa Waro (MOR), Shirley Vunatup (ENB), Helen Philemon (MOR) and Tehilah Womola (ENB). The leading contenders in the Men’s 200m were John Rivan (ENB), Joe Matmat (MOR), and the NCD duo of Paul Pokana and Nazmie-Lee Marai.

The 400m events had their Semi-Finals today with the picture of the likely medal winners becoming a little clearer. It was a potential ENB trifecta in the Women’s with the fastest three being Donna Koniel (58.88), Annie Muria (62.52) and Tehilah Womola (63.43). Donna looked to be unbeatable. In the Men’s 400m the field was a lot more open. Paul Pokana from NCD had the fastest time (50.18) with the two ENB runners, Theo Piniau and John Rivan both recording 50.78. A good close final was on offer.

The Octathlon came to a conclusion with favourite, Reginald Monagi (MOR) taking the gold with a total of 4151 points. In better conditions at the National Championships last year he scored 4992 points. Robson Yinambe (NIP) was second with 3667 points. The challenge is now to produce three good Decathletes by 2015, and this means working on the Pole Vault and ensuring that while the athletes might not excel in any one event, they have no disasters en-route to the final 1500m event. It will take discipline and good coaching, but we should ensure that we have three credible candidates for this event for the 2015 PG. We will probably have to widen our search to identify potential Decathletes.

Reginald Mongai (MOR) won the Discus Throw with a personal best distance of 38.73m, to move to 5th on the All Time Best List. A foul throw of 41m+ indicated that with a bit more maturity and strength this Junior Athlete will seriously challenge the NR held by Erich Momberger (45.62m from 1990). Second was Camilus Gigmai (SIM) with 32.42m.


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