athletics

Wisil set for world champs

Sports

PAPUA New Guinea’s best track athlete Toea Wisil completed her build-up for the IAAF World Championships in Bedford, England, at the weekend.
In the 100m, final Wisil was pipped on the line by Diani Walker of the Birchfield Harriers after leading from the gun but had to settle for second place in a time of 11.49 secs.
Coach Tony Fairweather said that Wisil ran well but just dipped too soon at the finish.
In Sunday’s 200m the Pacific Games champion placed third in a time of 23.96 secs.
Meanwhile, Ephraim Lerkin and Rellie Kaputin arrived in London last Sunday with coach Dior Lowry after a 34-hour journey from Nadi, Fiji.
Add to that a four-hour road trip from Suva and the PNG team would have had one of the longest trips of any participants.
Lerkin earned his place in the team by winning the 400m hurdles at the Oceania Championships and will compete in this event on Aug 6.
Kaputin only learned 10 days ago that the IAAF had accepted her nomination to take part in long jump, as the process for field event athletes qualifying through area championships is more rigorous.
“In field events the area champions are not automatically accepted like in the sprints,” APNG president Tony Green said.
“The IAAF technical delegates will say yes or no after considering the standard of the athlete against the rest of the athletes who have nominated for that event. Rellie has remained focused and stayed in Fiji after the Oceania Championships to prepare for the World Championships, as did Lerkin.”
The championships get underway on Friday  with Wisil swinging into action in round one of the 100m on Saturday at 11.45 local time (20:45 in PNG) and will be hopeful of progressing to Sunday evening’s semifinal.
Lerkin will run the 400m hurdles round one on Sunday morning 11.05 local time and Kaputin’s long jump event is on Aug 9, following which Wisil will run again in the 200m heats.
The sport of athletics has a great tradition and very strong support in the UK and the London Olympic stadium is expected to be packed for all sessions.
Usain Bolt will run the final individual race of his illustrious career in the 100m on the night of Aug 5, five years since he won Olympic gold in the same stadium in what was then a world record 9.63 secs.
He has chosen not to defend his 200m title in London and will only run the 100m and 4x100m relay.

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