Day 1 - Pacific Games
PNG celebrated a clean sweep of the medals in the first track final at the 2019 Pacific Games Athletics competition this evening as Simbai Kaspar ran away from the field to win the mens 3000m steeplechase in 9min 37 seconds with 2015 winner sapolai yao second and andipas georasi third. Vanuatu’s Simon Charley paid the price for trying to stay with Kaspar and faded badly in the second half of the race to allow the PNG pair tracking him to bide their time and take the medals.
PNG were celebrating again a short time later when Poro Gahekave produced a dominating performance to win the womens 5000m in 18min 27 seconds, with Mary Tenge taking the silver.”
That was the best Ive ever seen Poro run” said Athletics PNG President Tony Green who has seen Poro develop from a shy 14 year old at the 2007 Games to a mature, outgoing athlete brimming with confidence. Her time was a significant improvement on her previous personal best of 18min 44 run at the 2017 Games in Vanuatu.
The PNG trio of Gahekave, Tenge and Monica Kalua tracked the two Solomon Island athletes for half of the race until Gahekave put in a surge to open up a significant gap which allowed her to then take her foot of the gas and cruise the last couple of laps. Lakona Gerega made it six medals for the track tand field team with a bronze in the mens javelin