Athletes set for Kimbe


ATHLETES from around the country are arriving in Kimbe this week for the second part of the PNG Air Athletics Grand Prix series in West New Britain.
The competition will serve as a useful lead-up to the PNG Air National Athletics Championships which will also be held in Kimbe next weekend.
With local competition programmes affected by venue closures this year, the series has provided valuable competition opportunities for the national squad.
The focus will be mostly on track events this weekend with the only field events being the men’s long jump, men’s and women’s high jump, and men’s javelin.
The throws group, being coached by Paul Bannister in Port Moresby, are making up for lost training time this week and are focusing on the championships, as are PNG’s elite hurdlers Adrine Monagi and Daniel Baul.
The events will be hand-timed this weekend, however, electronic timing and photo finish system will be in operation in the nationals.
Eleven members of Nelson Stone’s Team Nest of 16 athletes will arrive in Kimbe today to compete in the Grand Prix events which are to be spread over three short sessions tomorrow afternoon, Saturday morning and Sunday morning.
The middle and long distance athletes, who have been training in Kerowagi and at Utmei Secondary, are already in Kimbe along with Morobe athletes Edna Boafob and Isaac Kambuka.
With many top sprinters overseas, these competitions are an opportunity for the next crop of young sprinters to show what they can do, and they include National Sports Institute pair Paias Wisil and Jobbie Kinzu , local athlete Graham Bai, and the National Capital District’s Chabbie Solomon.
A good men’s long jump competition is expected with PNG representatives Eldan Toti and Karo Iga, 2017 PNG Games champion Rocka Manau and young talent Kenneth Harrison all in the field.
Mary Tenge and Scholastica Herman are expected to feature strongly in the 3,000m with Aina Goir and Ongan Awa also aiming for a good showing.
Whilst the Grand Prix events are for the national squad athletes, West New Britain athletes will be invited to fill up available lanes in track events.
Additional events will also be available for local athletes to take part in on Saturday and Sunday.
Athletics PNG (APNG) president Tony Green thanked the provincial administration for their support in allowing the events to proceed and for logistical support provided through the sports division.

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