PREPARATIONS for seven athletes for the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India, this year, stepped up another gear as they undertake intensive training in Brisbane, Australia and South California, United States.
The PNG Athletics Union (PNGAU) announced that the seven member teams will leave today for Brisbane to attend a three-week training before heading to South California for a series of competitions.
The PNG team will take part in the Queensland championships on March 20-21 then have another work-out on March 27 before heading to Los Angeles on April 2.
Elite athletes Toea Wisil, Cecilia Kumalalamene, Mong Tavol, Norman Tse and Kevin Kapmatana have been training in Lae since last year in preparation for this programme.
They will be joined by Mowen Boino, who is currently in Vanutau, and Salome Dell who is based on the Gold Coast.
Nelson Stone, who was awarded an interim Olympic scholarship for London 2012 last year, is waiting for a long term visa to allow him to take up the scholarship in Australia.
While in California, the squad will once again be based near Azusa Pacific University to use the training facilities.
Coach Kevin Reid whose star athlete is the reigning Olympic champion in the decathlon (Bryan Clay) has once again invited the PNG athletes to join his squad for training sessions.
The athletes will spend six weeks and take part in the same competitions that several of them have attended for the last two seasons.
The funding for the tour is being provided by PNG Sports Federation as part of its preparation for the Commonwealth Games.