Kaputin claims gold

The National, Friday July 8th, 2016

RELLIE Kaputin, pictured, won the first gold for Papua New Guinea in the senior girls long jump with a length of 5.95 metres in the 2016 Melanesian Athletics Games at the ANZ Stadium, yesterday.
The 23-year-old from East New Britain said it is a huge boost for her as she has two more events to participate in over the next two days.
“I am so excited and this is a huge boost for me as I look forward for my other two events in the competition in the High Jump tomorrow and Triple Jump on Saturday,” Kaputin said.
“My ultimate aim coming into the Melanesian Games is to jump over six metres and I was pretty close to my personal best.”
Kaputin joined PNG athletics in 2013 and had a full scholarship in the United States where she studied at the West Texas University.
While every athletes dream is to represent their country at the Olympic Games, Kaputin said her aim is the next Olympics Games which will be held in Tokyo, Japan.
“Right now I am not ready to compete in a stage like the Olympics so I skip this year’s Olympics and work my way up to becoming better than I am now,” she said.
“I have a long way to go so this is only the start for me, the Melanesian Games is fitting because it has brought in athletes from around the region to compete and that in itself raises the competition levels.
“So it has been a start to a good day and I hope that this will be the same for the next two days ahead.”
Meanwhile, Senior girls long jump bronze winner Annie Topal who is also from East New Britain, PNG jumped a length of 5.32 metres.
The 20-year-old who is part of the PNG athletics development squad is happy with her jump as she achieved a personal best.
“I am really happy because I did my personal best and really excited,” she said.
“My big goal coming here is to do a personal best which I have done but I have another event which is the triple jump and I hope to achieve a personal best in that as well.
“If I do well and achieve that, I would have accomplished my goals because I am currently in the PNG athletics development squad and waiting for my scholarship to go to the US and doing well here is really important for me.” – Fiji Times