Goroka hosts championships

Athletes Bala Nicholas (left) and Lyanne Tibu competing in the 1,500m at the Highlands-Mamose championships at the National Sports Institute in Goroka, Eastern Highlands, over the weekend. – NSIpic

PAPUA New Guinea’s first major athletic event of the year was held at the National Sports institute in Goroka, Eastern Highlands, over the weekend.
The PNG Air Highlands-Mamose championships attracted teams from Lae, Bulolo, Goroka, Jiwaka and Chimbu (three) which were supported by NSI staff, including director Janet Gimots, who volunteered as officials.
The highlights of the competition were the men’s 200m final and a thrilling duel in the men’s 3,000m between Abel Siune and Wilford Baia.
NSI-based Pais Wisil won the men’s 100m on Saturday in 10.9 seconds with Jobbie Kinzu finishing second and the pair lined up for the 200m final on Sunday with Jonathan Dende, another member of NSI’s development squad.
This time it was Dende who powered home to win the race in 22.6 seconds ahead of Kinzu (22.8) second and Wisil (22.9).
In the men’s 3000m on Sunday morning, Siune and Baia began a tussle for the lead right from the start in the seven-and-a half-lap race.
The pair left the rest of the field trailing as they continued to exchange the lead and the fight continued all the way to the finish line.
After a desperate last 100m, Siune just edged Baia to win the race in nine minutes, 53.5 seconds.
The women’s 3000m was also competitive with Lina Baundo winning the race in 12 minutes, three seconds ahead of Bala Nicholas (12:04) and Jemimah Mondo (12:05), who had dominated the 5,000m on Saturday.
Morobe’s Edna Boafob, one of Athletics PNG’s bright prospects for the women’s multi-events, showed her class in the sprints, proving too strong for NSI’s Lyanne Tibu in the 400m and dominating the 200m.
A limited number of field events were conducted due to the smaller number of competitors and the highlight was Team Morobe, which included two athletes who have represented PNG, in the men’s long jump. Steven Ray came out on top with a jump of 6.56m, ahead of Cletus Mosi and Rocka Manau.
The small East Sepik team acquitted themselves very well, especially in the Under-16 sprints where they completed a clean sweep in the girls 100m and took first and second in the 200m.
Athletics competitions continue this month with the New Guinea Islands championships in Kokopo from Sept 29-30 and the West New Britain leg in Kimbe from Nov 14-15.
The PNG Air National Championships will be held in Port Moresby from Dec 4-6.