NINE women out of 29 registered athletes will be competing in the bemobile Individual Sprint Triathlon tomorrow at Ela Beach in Port Moresby.
PNG Triathlon Federation vice-president Stephen Sallun confirmed yesterday that the bemobile was sponsor.
He said the organisers expected more entries for the final sprint triathlon event for this year.
“We are expecting great rivalry in both the men’s and women’s categories,” he said.
Vying for pole position in the men’s category will be Brendan Raftery (Westpac), Justine McGann (Curtain Brothers), Leon Williamson (Hastings Deering), Scott Bishop (Bishop Brothers), Tim O’Sullivan (Lihir Gold Ltd) and Neil Papenfus (Steamships Shipping).
Other male competitors include Simon Nutley (Pacific Legal), Roger Blott (bemobile), Filip Likar (ExxonMobil), Dave Whitehead, Simon Kore and James Carroll.
There is also an interesting line-up in the women’s division that has Susie Pini, the winner of the last two sprint events leading the charge with Mary-Anne Elkington (PoM Productions), Caroline McGann, Lara Andrews (Coffey International), Jo Tough (AusAID), Annette Coppola (Global Fund) and Alison Everall (Imps).
Lihir Gold Ltd is sending a larger contingent this time with Tim O’Sullivan leading a team of six athletes. The team will comprise Jan Kubat, Justine Humphrey, Gerard Baarslag and two women, Amy Fisher and Caroline Hardy.
The event will once again comprise of a 750m swim, a 20km cycle and a 5km run. All the events will be held along Ela Beach beachfront between the old Sea Park area and the Koki roundabout.
The unofficial women’s record is held by Caroline McGann in with a time of 1 hour 15 minutes and 19 seconds.
Andrew Schloeffel holds the men’s record of 1 hour eight minutes and 38 seconds, also set in May this year.
Sallun said PNGTF was expecting a lot of excitement at the event.
“We have also improved the course with bicycle racks and centralised the transition area, making it convenient for the both the athletes to change their racing gear in one area and for the spectators to watch the event from one spot.
“We are raising the bar in hosting these events, especially with Papua New Guinea now a member of the International Triathlon Union (ITU) since August this year,” he said.
PNG now has three ITU accredited technical officials having recently officiated at the Cook Islands Pacific Mini Games in September.
They are Stephen Damien, Lapi Kembos and Annette Coppola who are now ITU Level 1 event management technical officials.