The National, Tuesday 04th September 2012
ATHLETICS PNG has clarified its position with respect to the participation of its elite and other national squad athletes in the PNG Games, a matter which has caused some controversy in previous editions of the Games.
The PNG athletics elite squad is considered to be Toea Wisil, Betty Burua, Sharon Kwarula, Mowen Boino, Nelson Stone, Kevin Kapmatana and Wala Gime.
If any of these athletes attend the Games, they will only be able to enter relay events, not individual events.
All other national squad athletes may participate in the Games on the same basis as all other athletes, which means they may enter a maximum of two track events and one field event or vice versa (plus the relays).
Athletics PNG president Tony Green said in drawing up the policy, the interests of all parties involved were considered.
“No one wants to see an elite athlete running away with an event, but to rule out all national athletes was not in the best interests of the Games or of Athletics PNG,” he said.
“Everyone wants to see an improvement in the standard of the competition; and most national squad members don’t get anywhere near enough competition opportunities so it doesn’t help either cause to deny them to participate.
“The Games provide an incentive for national athletes to train seriously throughout 2012 and this will benefit our preparations for the 2013 Mini Pacific Games” Green added.
The first day of athletics at the Games will be on Saturday November 24 with four further days of competition from Monday to Thursday.
Half marathon race will be conducted on Friday morning with the 4x400m relays bringing the programme to a close.