National squad athletes around the country have the opportunity this month to prove themselves ready for the Oceania Championships which will be held in Suva, Fiji from June 28 to July 1. With regular competitions getting underway in Port Moresby and occasional meets being conducted in lae as well as many inter secondary school competitions in the New Guinea Islands, PNG based squad members will be out to prove their readiness for the Championships. Athletics PNG expects to finalise its team at the end of april. Secretary Philip Rehder said that in selecting its team for Oceania the priority is to give those athletes who have the potential to qualify for the World Championships the opportunity to do so. “We will then consider PNG based squad members preparing for the Pacific Mini Games he added. The best of the upcoming development squad members will also be considered said Rehder but in the current financial climate we have no option but to impose some levy fees. We recognise the need to advise athletes of their selection as early as possible but we need to see their current form.
Nelson Stone is expected to run some races in Port Moresby over the next two weeks and there are a host of young athletes keen to provide some competition including Charles Livuan , Morgan Tobeno, David Guka, Shadrick Tansi, as well as Damien Kotou from Manus. Roland Hure has also been impressive in the jumps in the two competitions held to date. Over in Kokopo Leeroy Kamau and Michael Peni have been training hard for several months in preparation for the upcoming competitions. Over in Lae Ephraim Lerkin and Emmanuel Wanga have been training very well and these two lead the 400m rankings this year with times of 48.8secs and 49.3 respectively. Tuna Tine and Mary Kua have also been training consistently well and will have the opportunity to run some trial competitions next week in Lae . George Yamak, Kaminiel Matlaun and Martin Orovo will race over 800m in Lae with Yamak and Orovo being joined by Simbai Kaspar, Abel Siune and others for the 1500m.