Burua fastest, Wisil in hunt

Papua New Guinea’s top 400m runner Betty Burua (55.97 seconds) pursuit of the gold medal is on song as she recorded the fastest qualifying time for the finals.

The women’s 400m medal race will be run at the BSP Stadium at 8 tomorrow night.

The women were divided into two groups to qualify for the finals, with Papua New Guinea coming first in both heats.

Home crowd favorite Toea Wisil won the second heat, clocking 56.64 seconds which was the second fastest time from the heats.

Wisil is the defending Pacific Games champion but clocked a little slower than Burua and will have to put in the extra effort to defend her gold medal.

Wisil won the gold medal in the 2011 Pacific Games with a time of 54.94 seconds.

Meanwhile, the Fijians will be trying to spoil the host nation’s celebration as three of their runners have qualified for the finals.

The eight female runners who qualified for the finals are:  Betty Burua (PNG, 55.97 seconds), Toea Wisil (PNG, 56.64s), Adi Alaiwalu Rayawa (Fiji, 56.88s), Elenani Tinai (Fiji, 57.50), Makereta Naulu (Fiji, 57.50s), Donna Koniel (PNG, 57.82s), Taina Halasima (Tonga, 60.01s), and Taina Halasima (New Caledonia, 61.56s).

Charles Yapumi