The National, Wednesday February 10th, 2016
ATHLETICS PNG has clarified the process by which it will select its athletes for the Olympic Games through the issue of a selection policy to athletes and coaches.
Whilst athletes were informed last August about the process, PNG Athletics Union president Tony Green said this had only recently been formally documented and distributed.
Athletics PNG will select one male athlete for the Games under the universality rule which guarantees every Olympic Committee a place for one male and one female athlete regardless of qualifying standards.
He said the athletes in contention for this place are Nelson Stone, Mowen Boino and Theo Piniau and whoever has the best performance between now and mid June will be nominated.
Piniau is on scholarship at West Texas A&M University in the USA and Nelson Stone’s training and competition programme is being funded by the PNG Olympic Committee while Mowen Boino as yet does not have a sponsor for his programme.
“Things are a little different with the female athlete,” said Green.
Based on what Athletics PNG have seen in terms of performances in the past couple of years, it is not inconceivable that more than one athlete will qualify so Athletics PNG has addressed this possibility through the policy.
“Clearly Toea Wisil is in the driving seat for selection if no one runs a qualifying time, but we have drawn up selection guidelines to eliminate any doubts as to what would happen in the event that someone else runs a qualifying time.”
Wisil and Donna Koniel are training in Brisbane under scholarship programmes with Wisil being funded by the International Olympic Committee and Koniel the IAAF.
Sharon Kwarula and Betty Burua are considered capable of running the qualifying times, but without funding support they face an uphill battle.
All selections are subject to endorsement by the justification committee of the PNG Olympic Committee and they will meet with each of the sports next week to discuss the nomination of athletes and officials.