PNG athletics team gearing up for Mini Games


THE national athletics team are shaping up well for a strong showing in the Pacific Mini Games which will be held in Saipan, Northern Marianas, next month.
Rellie Kaputin, Sharon Toako and Lakona Gerega are expected to fly to Brisbane, Australia, by the middle of next week to join Daniel Baul, Eldan Toti, Karo Iga and Edna Boafob on the Gold Coast.
Head Coach and throws coach Brett Green has made arrangements with specialist jumps and hurdles coaches to assist him prepare the athletes for the Games.
They will all have their first competition at Runaway Bay on May 28.
Meanwhile, Toea Wisil and Adrine Monagi are also in southeast Queensland under their own respective programmes.
The athletes will all travel to Mackay in the first week of next month for the Oceania Championships which will serve as a quality lead-up competition for the team.
They will be joined by 13 strong middle and long distance group, nine of whom are training at the National Sports Institute in Goroka.
Sprinters Pais Wisil and Terrence Talio are also preparing at the insitute for these events with development squad members Johnny Bai and Timothy Tuna.
Athletics Papua New Guinea president Tony Green acknowledged the support of the institute, PNG Air, Prima Smallgoods and the PNG Olympic Committee.
Meanwhile, in the United States, Kansas-based athletes Leonie Beu, Isila Apkup, Shadrick Tansi, Ephraim Lerkin, Jonathan Dende, Alphonse Igish and Emmanuel Wanga are preparing for next week’s Junior College National Championships in Hutchinson where they will be joined by long jumper Roland Hure. Leroy Kamau, Emmanuel Anis and Monica Korowi will be competing in other events this weekend. Coach Nelson Stone is ready to join the athletes in Kansas early next week, and remain with them up to departure for the Games in the middle of next month. Triple jump specialists Annie Topal and Peniel Richard are now preparing for the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division Two National Championships which will be held in Allendale, Michigan, from May 26-28.