THIRTEEN members of the PNG Commonwealth Games squad along with the PNG distance development squad of six athletes have been in Brisbane for the past month training hard in preparation for the Oceania championships in Cairns next week.
PNG will field a total of 29 athletes at the championships with its elite athletes Toea Wisil, Salome Dell, Nelson Stone, Wala Gime and Mowen Boino expected to feature strongly in the quest for automatic qualification for the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.
Under new International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) competition regulations, the Oceania champion automatically qualifies for the world championships.
“The PNG athletes find their training in Brisbane varied and stimulating.”
PNG Athletics Union president Tony Green said that the athletes benefit from training with the big group that trained with coach Lloyd Way at Sunnybank and the Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre (QSAC).
“They are made to work very hard at times, but its enjoyable and at times quite competitive, which is good for them,” Green added.
Meanwhile, the PNG development squad of distance runners are having the time of their lives in Brisbane where they are preparing for the Oceania Championships next week in Cairns.
The four girls and two boys stayed on in Brisbane after the Oceania cross country championships last month.
Kupsy Bisamo,who made a strong showing at the Gold Coast 10km race in July and the cross country last month, will compete in the 3,000m steeplechase and 5,000m events in Cairns, as will his team mate Skene Kiage.
Green said the athletes were in Brisbane to gain some experience in both training and competition.
“We are not expecting anything spectacular from the girls in Cairns,” Green said.
“We just want them to enjoy themselves and learn from the experience.”