Big squad for athletics

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The National –Friday, January 7, 2011

 The PNG Athletic Union yesterday announced a 42-member training squad for the 2011 Pacific Games in Noumea, New Caledonia.

And the list, although filled with some of the country’s elite track stars has one notable omission and another inclusion.

PNG’s female 100m record holder Mae Koime was not considered because she had not been training for a prolonged period (since October, 2010) while 2007 Samoa Games women’s 4 x 100m gold medal-winning  team member Raphaela Baki has been included after a long absence from competition.

Both Koime and Baki had been, in recent years, involved in Port Moresby women’s rugby union competition.

 In releasing the list, PNGAU president Tony Green said that it was important for all athletes to understand that selection was still open and that other individuals not named in the squad could still make the team. 

The squad  is based on performances in 2010 and includes those athletes considered to have the potential to qualify for the Games. 

Selection trials will be held in April and May, Green said, adding that it would be necessary for administrative reasons to finalise the team before the national championships scheduled forJune. 

The PNGAU also has a selection policy and a list of qualifying standards which are available from  the PNGAU office in Lae.  

Green said it was important for everyone to understand that qualifying times should not be considered in isolation, but must be considered  in  conjunction with the selection policy.

This year’s national championships will be held in Lae during the second term school holiday at the end of June.

The athletic competition at the Noumea Games is scheduled for the beginning of September and the PNGAU is sourcing suitable overseas competition to prepare its team for the Games.  

Its calendar of events will be published next week.

The PNGAU squad: (men) Nelson Stone, Kupun Wisil, Ruwan Gunasinghe, Joe Matmat, Reginald Worealevi, Paul Pokana, Nazmee-Lee Marai, John Rivan, Kevin Kapmatana, Mowen Boino, Wala Gime, Veherney Babob, Andipas Georasi, Sapolai Yao, Kupsy Bisamo, Skene Kiage, Norman Tse, Mong Tavol, David Jessem, (women) Toea Wisil, Helen Philemon, Priscilla John, Raphaela Baki, Adriana Monagi, Venessa Waro, Betty Burua, Shirley Vunatap, Donna Koniel, Sharon Kwaralu, Miriam Boram, Salome Dell, Cecilia Kuma, Tuna tine, Dephanie Aito, Maria Kuanduma, Anna Pius, Poro Gahekave, Eunice Steven, Grace Jessem, Naomi Kerari and Nellie Leslie.