PNG starts second week well with athletics
PORT VILA: Rellie Kaputin, Annie Topal and Adrian Monagi’s clean sweep in the women’s long jump was the highlight for Papua New Guinea on the first day of the athletics competition at the Pacific Mini Games.
Kaputin stamped her authority on the event from the start with a Pacific Games record of 6.20m, followed by a wind assisted 6.40m to win by over 60cm from Annie Topal and Adrine Monagi.
The clean sweep in the long jump was a great moment for PNG as the poles had all three PNG flags rising in the middle of the stadium.
Peniel Richard was also in fine form in the men’s high jump winning the silver medal with a season’s best of 2.03m whilst junior athlete, Roland Hure placed fourth with a personal best of 1.94m.
PNG’s dominance in the women’s 800m ended with a surprise gold medal for Vanuatu with PNG’s Poro Gahekave, Tuna Tine and Jenny Albert placing second, third and fourth respectively.
In the 400m hurdles, veteran sprinter, Mowen Boino won his semi-final hurdles in dominating fashion to set up a mouth-watering clash with fellow Papua New Guinean, Ephraim Lerkin in tomorrow’s final. Lerkin was also impressive in his heat with a time of 53 seconds to qualify in the final.
In the women’s 100m sprints, Toea Wisil, Afure Adah and Nancy Malamut all qualified comfortably for the 100m final after running good times in the heats this afternoon.
Kupun Wisil, Nazmie Lee Marai and Wesley Logorava have also qualified for the finals in the men’s 100m event. Kupun did well to qualify despite struggling with a groin strain.
Long distance specialist, Simbai Kaspar recovered from being low on sickness two days earlier to win bronze in the 10,000m.
It was an impressive first day for the PNG athletics team as they collected one gold, four silver and three bronze medals. The team also set the foundation to feature prominently in a number of finals on tomorrow (Tuesday 12th December).
This will also see Jacklyn Travertz and Sharon Toako in the women’s hammer throw; the men’s and women’s 100m sprints and 400m hurdles; the men’s long jump and the 5,000m final for both men and women.
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