Athletics teams move into Lae for national titles

The National,Friday June 10th, 2016

SEVERAL teams arrived in Lae yesterday ahead of the National Track and Field championships which are due to start this afternoon at the Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium.
First to arrive was the  Kaiva Central Team from Popondetta  including Pacific Games bronze medallist Martin Orovo, pictured,  who made an eight-hour journey by dinghy.
The Manus team also arrived in Lae on Wednesday and other teams come in yesterday.  The unrest in Port Moresby has had a knock on effect with Team Enga pulling out becuase of uncertainty over the Highlands Highstaying open.
A number of companies have come to the assistance of Athletics PNG in staging the event including Coca-Cola, Prima Smallgoods  Lae Biscuits and Anava Coffee.
Meanwhile, Team Simbu have been warned to get their house in order or face sanctioning by Athletics PNG for failing to comply with entry requirements.
Athletics PNG president Tony Green said this was a result of receiving a list of 250 participants only at midday yesterday.
“We have problems every year with Simbu officials constantly making changes to their entries even during the competition,” Green said.
“This will not be tolerated.”
Green urged all team managers to finalise their actual entries immediately upon arrival in Lae in order to facilitate the smooth running of the competition. Toea Wisil arrived in Lae at mid day yesterday with her coach Tony Fairweather and will run the 100m tomorrow.
Strong competition is expected in the men’s sprint events. Both Nazmie Lee Marai and Wesley Logorava have shown good form this season and a close race is expected between them in the 200m.
In the 100m they will face Kupun Wisil. No official word has come from West New Britain and their participation seems to be in doubt.
Green said that it would be unfortunate if talented sprinter Lyenne Nilmo did not go to Lae as that would mean that she would not be considered for the Melanesian Championships.
Her duel with Nancy Malamut was one of the highlights of the last PNG Games and Athletics PNG is keen to field a junior women’s 4x100m team with Miriam Peni and Afure Adah completing the quartet.
Orovo will face an in-form George Yamak in the men’s 800m and 1500m with the national record under threat in tomorrow’s 1500m.