Distance runners on track for Pacific Games

Team PNG athletics squad is on track in its preparations towards the 15th Pacific Games which is 9 days away.

he distance squad is undergoing a final week of training with coaches Peter Deane, Bernard Manau and Paul Komba at the National Sports Institute in Goroka.

The squad had their last competition before the Games with athletes looking super fit for the athletics competition which is to run from July 13-18.

Middle and long distance runner Kaminiel Matlaun recorded a 54 second first lap in the 800m and went on to record a Pacific leading time of 1min 53.1 seconds.

The womens race started in similar fashion with Jenny Albert, Cecilia Kumalalamene and Tuna Tine all reaching the bell in a very fast 64 secs and the three were still closely bunched at 150m to go.

Sapolai Yao recorded the second best 3000m steeplechase of his long career (9min 30.9 secs) and teammate Skene Kiage clocked a personal best 9min 39.7.

In the womens race Rama Kumilgo maintained the outstanding form she showed at the Oceania Championships as she finished well clear in 11min 15secs.

Poro Gahekave pushed Miriam Goiye all the way in the 1500m as both athletes recorded personal best times with Goiye clocking 4min 46.3 secs and Gahekave 4:47.0.

Mary Kua ran an impressive personal best 18min 38secs in the womens 5000m.

Coach Manau thanked the NSI for its support over the last six months and said that the results show that this has been a hugely successful program.

PNG’s distance runners had not done that well at the Pacific Games in recent times and the athletes were determined to make a very strong showing this time.

//Ends// QN