A number of young athletes are showing good progress as the athletic competition season gets underway in Port Moresby. Fortnightly competitions started on March 25 and the third meet will be held at the Sir John Guise Stadium this coming Saturday. David Guka who attended the Athletics PNG training camp in Goroka in January has shown a big improvement since moving up to the longer sprints, recording a 50.7 secs clocking in the 400m after running an 800m race earlier in the programme. New Irelander Morgan Tobeno has also shown significant improvement this year. With another of the January Camp participants Damien Kotou from Manus in Port Moresby this week for the school holiday some good competition can be expected in the 200m and 400m on Saturday. In a 300m race at the Sir John Guise Stadium yesterday Guka clocked an impressive 35.3 seconds to win from Kotou and Central runner Shadrick Tansi who both ran 35.7secs. Nineteen year old Roland Hure has been impressive in the long jump in the two competitions held so far. Meanwhile Nelson Stone is preparing for the Oceania Championships and has started running 100m and 200m races to gauge his progress.
A group of 12 athletes from West New Britain are planning to travel to Kokopo this week to test their form against athletes from East New Britain.The large group that were preparing for the now deferred PNG Games has dwindled to a core group of committed athletes and this group are being offered the chance to compete for the first time this year. The athletes are understood to have been training for a long time but have no proper competition venue as the new San Remo Stadium is not yet available for training or competition. Sprinters Lyenne Nilmo and Delwin Aiuni who have shown good form in national competitions in the past two years are looking forward to the competition. Over in Lae Nancy Malamut and Leonie Beu will gauge their training progress in trials at the Sir Ignatius Kilage stadium.A small group is travelling from Popondetta and another promising young sprinter who attended the January Camp, Jobbie Kinzu will travel from Madang to run with the Lae based athletes. Pacific Games 800m representatives Kaminiel Matlaun, Martin Orovo and George Yamak will all race together again in Lae for the first time since the 2015 Games. Athletics PNG is seeking to gauge the form of national squad athletes before finalising the selection of its team for the Oceania Championships.