Grand Prix part 1 ends on high note


PART one of the PNG Air Grand Prix Series in Port Moresby ended yesterday with more than 80 national squad track and field athletes competing against each other.
A similar format to the one-day World Grand Prix Series, the elite competition is aimed at athletes vying for places in the national teams for international events next year, including the Commonwealth Games and Pacific Mini Games.
The Series is also catering for national athletes participating in events with less competitors and is also a talent identification exercise.
The men’s sprints (100m and 200m) in the three-day event was dominated by Emmanuel Anis – who trains with Nelson Stone’s Nest athletic club — and National Sports Institute (NSI) trio Alphonse Igish, Paias Wisil and Jonathan Dende.
The NSI team also took out the men’s 4x100m relay on Saturday and yesterday, clocking an improved time of 42.20 seconds and 42.40s followed by Nest with 43.20s and 43.41s.
The women’s long distance race saw a competitive performance from Chimbu’s Mary Tenge and Aina Goir against East New Britain’s Monica Kalua.
Morobe’s Edna Boafob and Pacific Games representative fared well in the women’s 200m, 400m and 800m as well as field events, including jumps, javelin and shot put.
Highlights of the field events were performances from Eldan Toti (high jump), De’Bono Paraka and Jackie Travetz (shot put) while para-athlete Nellie Leva fared well in javelin against Boafob.
The men’s long distance saw a new record by Chimbu’s Dilu Goiye in the 5,000m, clocking 15 minutes, 31.13s to go ninth on the PNG all-time best performances.
The long distance events saw some of the best runners competing, including the likes of Goiye, George Yamak, Aquila Turalom, Siune Kagl and Andipas Georasi.
Athletics Papua New Guinea (APNG) president Tony Green told The National that he was impressed with the overall performance of the athletes, most of whom had recorded personal bests.
He said the Series was important for the national squad as they had been training without having regular competitions.
Green said it was a build-up to the next part of the Series in Kimbe as well as the New Guinea Islands, Southern and national championships.
The Port Moresby meet saw APNG using the world athletics scoring tables to rank athlete performances.