Athletics PNG

Athletes resume serious training

After 18 months back home in PNG since graduating from Lubbock Christian University, Gahekave has returned to the United States where she can properly focus on her training in an environment that is more conducive to the attainment of sporting success. 

With the cross country season in the USA being held from August to November, this presents the 2019 Pacific Games triple gold medallist with a great opportunity to get an excellent preparation for the February 2022 World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, NSW.  

Kaputin Gets Second Dose

Athletics PNG thanked the Australian and PNG Olympic committees for facilitating the vaccines for Olympic training squad members.

Kaputin has her next competition this Saturday at the Gold Coast where she is hoping to better her season’s best of 6.25m in the long jump and hopefully, pick up some valuable ranking points in what is an Oceania Athletics Area Permit Meet.

She will renew her rivalry with Annie McGuire of Australia, with whom she has had some good competitions this season.

Vaccination, a personal choice

Green said athletes do not need approval to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

He made this statement following questions on whether Athletics PNG will let its athletes take the vaccine.

“Personally, I recommend that everyone who has the opportunity should take the vaccine and not pay attention to stories circulating via social media that are not based on science,” he stated.

“These vaccines go through very rigorous clinical trials to ensure they are safe before they are approved for use, so I have 100 percent confidence in the vaccine.”

APNG calls for urgent PNG Games update

The Games is only seven months away with Green stressing on the need for communication.

“In a PNG Games year, many Sports would build their annual calendar of events around those Games so any late changes can have significant consequences,” stated the APNG president.

APNG mourns loss of dedicated member

The late Marai, who hailed from Tarawai Island in East Sepik Province, was a dedicated member of the PNG Athletics family for over three decades. 

As a young educator starting her long and distinguished teaching career at Kokopo High School in 1988, her interest in the sport of athletics also found a place in her heart. Together with Bob Snow, the late Sailas Tita, Lazarus Bureng and Rex Novulu, she started coaching young athletes and running weekend competitions.

Athletics PNG concerned with state of track

Artificial turf left around the field holds water and blocks access to drains, thereby causing the synthetic track to lift from its base.

President Tony Green said these concerns had been raised with the former Sir John Guise Stadium CEO in April 2019 and he was very disappointed to see during a recent visit that instead of being removed after each Game, the turf has been fixed to the track on a semi-permanent basis.

Athletics PNG president re-elected

However, all of the other five members of the Committee gave notice that they would not seek re-election for various personal reasons, paving the way for new office bearers to be elected.

Josepha Wailoni from Port Moresby was the only nominee for the position of Vice President and takes over the role from Gordon Kapak. Betty Burua (ENB) was the only nominee for Treasurer and accepted the nomination, replacing Nola Peni.

Athletics PNG boasts 51 medals

PNG athletes hauled in a total of 14 gold, 20 silver and 17 bronze with Fiji second on 10 gold, 7 silver and 3 bronze.

However Australia, competing for the first time in athletics, won gold in four events in which PNG has been dominant in at recent Games (men’s 400m, men’s 400m hurdles, women’s 800m and women’s 100m hurdles).

Given that PNG won silver in all these events in Apia then if one is comparing this year’s results to previous Games, the 14 gold should be 18.

Cairns community backs PNG athletes

The track and field competition in Apia begins on Monday, July 15, and the PNG team has been camped in Cairns since June 29 after attending the Oceania Championships in Townsville.

Team manageress, Nola Peni, said: “Food and words of encouragement has not been in short supply to fuel the athletes’ intensive training program with three different wantok groups visiting the athletes at the Bohemia Resort last week with a variety of dishes.

Areas of improvement highlighted in champs

But overall was a positive experience for the PNG team.

“Outstanding performers were Rellie Kaputin and Peniel Richard in the long and triple jumps; Daniel Baul and Donna Koniel (400m hurdles); Siune Kagl and James Kuadua (10000m); Simbai Kaspar and Mary Tenge (3000m steeplechase); Lakona Gerega (Javelin); Jacklyne Travertz (Hammer throw) and Steven Abraham (Para sprints).

“Young Monica Korowi from Port Moresby also did very well in the U18 sprints, winning two bronze medals.