Athletes win 7 golds


PAPUA New Guinea won seven gold, three silver and a bronze medals from nine finals on a day of high drama at the Korman Stadium Port Vila yesterday.
The medals pushed PNG into second place behind New Caledonia in the medal tally. Fiji held second place on Tuesday. Veteran Mowen Boino, who turns 38 on Saturday, maintained his dominance in the 400m hurdles that goes back to 2001, winning a close race against Ephraim Lerkin.
Boino had won this event at every Games he has attended since 2001.
PNG also went one-two in the women’s event with Raylyne Kanam collecting gold and Annie Topal the silver.
Debono Paraka won a closely contested discus competition with a throw of 50.17m while 19-year-old Roland Hure won the men’s long jump with a national junior record of 7.08m.
As expected, Toea Wisil won the women’s 100m and Nazmie Lee Marai made it another double for PNG in a dramatic men’s final.
Fijian Aaron Powell was judged to have false started after the race had been run, a decision which did not go down well with the Fijian team.
However, the judges held firm on their decision and the gold medal was awarded to Marai who had crossed the line second.
Simbai Kaspar rounded off a wonderful afternoon for PNG with a magnificent 5000m victory in an entertaining race in which the lead changed several times.
Fijian Avikash Lal had a clear lead at the bell but was run down by a determined Kaspar who made his decisive move with 250m to go.
Poro Gahekave put up a strong fight in the women’s 5000m with a personal best 15min 44 seconds.
Jacklyne Travertz broke her own national record in the women’s hammer, collecting the silver medal with a throw of 41.22m.
Newcomer Benjamin Aliel was the fastest qualifier for the men’s 400m final with a personal best 47.99 seconds in a race in which Theo Piniau failed to qualify.
There had been a false start at the first attempt to run the race and Piniau was well into the back straight before he heard the recall. The race was run too soon for him as he had insufficient time to prepare himself physically and mentally so Papua New Guinea’s hopes in the final will be carried by Aliel and Ephraim Lerkin.
Today sees a number of gold medal opportunities with Rellie Kaputin and Annie Topal in the triple jump; Adrine Monagi in the heptathlon and the 4x100m relays.

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