Lerkin in form for championships

Sports

SIMBERI Islander Ephraim Lerkin is approaching peak form with the Oceania Athletics Championships just two weeks away.
In Bangkok, with four other athletes attending the Thailand Open Championships, the 19-year-old opened his campaign in style on Monday with a 48.35 second finish in the 400m and a few hours later won his semifinal with 48.52 secs.
On day two, Lerkin showed what a high level of fitness he had with a scintillating run in the 400m hurdles final to win the event in a time of 51.56 seconds soon after winning his semifinal in a time of 53 secs.
“To run that time in the humid conditions of Bangkok just two and a half hours after the semifinal is just amazing,” Athletics PNG president Tony Green said.
“It was clear from his 400m times on Monday that Ephraim was in great shape but we never expected a time like this.
“This is a massive performance, no question about it.
“The hard work that he has put in this year in training, especially during the time he has spent at the NSI (National Sports Institute) in Goroka is really paying dividends.”
Green thanked Lerkin’s sponsor Simberi Gold and the team sponsor the PNG Olympic Committee for making the trip possible.
Veteran hurdler Mowen Boino found the going tough after a limited preparation in Vanuatu and was not able to back up after winning his semifinal in 53.17 secs.
Nelson Stone recorded times of 10.99 secs and 22.24 secs in the semifinals of the 100m and 200m without advancing to the finals.
Kaminiel Matlaun qualified for the final of the 800m in 1 min 57 sec and improved this to 1:56 in the final.

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