Records shatter

The National,Wednesday June 15th, 2016

TOEA Wisil and Theo Piniau set national records during an action-packed weekend for athletics.
Wisil, 28, breasted the tape in 11.36 seconds to take 1/100th of a second off the time set by Mae Koime in Brisbane in March 2007 at the national championships in Lae on Saturday.  In Jacksonville, Florida, USA, Theo Piniau smashed Nelson Stone’s 200m record and became the first PNG athlete to run under 21 seconds as he won his race in 20.97s on Sunday.
Piniau had only 45 minutes earlier run a 400m race in 48.94s. As predicted, conditions were ideal for Wisil, with her being in peak form and a huge vocal home crowd.
The women’s 100m was run in the opposite direction to that normally applied in order to take advantage of a slight wind.
Wisil, who is Team PNG’s female athlete for the Rio Games through the universality rule, is still expected to try and run an Olympic qualifying time of 11.32 for the women’s 100m.
She has one more major competition, the Melanesian Athletics Championships next month in Fiji, to do that.
A bonus for Athletics PNG was that rising sprinter Nancy Malamut recorded a personal best time of 12.36 seconds in placing second.
“It was a bit of messing around relocating the equipment but well worth the effort,” APNG president Tony Green said.
Wisil later clocked 11.41 seconds in a second attempt on the record, a race in which Lyenne Nilmo of Kimbe, West New Britain, clocked an impressive 12.55s.
After a stressful day on Friday waiting for news on travel for the WNB team, Nilmo was at Hoskins airport by 6am Saturday.
The 17-year-old arrived at the Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium at midday and was lined up at the 100m start with Wisil just one hour later.
In Jacksonville, Piniau’s performance catapulted him ahead of Mowen Boino in the race for a spot on the team to Rio and means that Boino now has to run close to 51s in the 400m hurdles to better Piniau’s performance.
Their last qualifying completion will be on Saturday (Sunday, PNG time) in Coral Springs, Florida.
Meanwhile, back in Lae, Jacklyn Travertz set the third PNG national record of the long weekend when she threw the hammer 38.27 metres to improve on her own record by 1.04 metres.
Peniel Richard recorded a triple jump of 15.41m which is 6cm over his national record but this mark is unlikely to be ratified as a national record due to the level of the sand in the pit.
Richard was upstaged by Wesley Logorava in the long jump as the New Irelander won the event with a leap of 6.76m.
Other highlights of the competition included a stunning 400m hurdles run by 18-year-old Ephraim Lerkin and close races in the men’s 100m , 800m and 1500m events.
Lerkin closed in on the 53.20 second qualifying mark for the World Junior Championships with a huge personal best 53.39 seconds.
The Utu Secondary Grade 12 student was also too strong for the other runners in the 400m and the future looks good for PNG with another exciting prospect in the wings.
Emmanuel Wange, who turns 17 later this year, gave Lerkin a good race and clocked 49.38seconds for second place.
Pre-race favourite in the men’s 1500m George Yamak came off second best as Oro’s Pacific Games bronze medallist Martin Orovo out-kicked him to win the race in 4min and 6 seconds.
It was the same story in the 800m where Orovo used his superior finishing speed to run away from the field in the last 100m.
The men’s 100m final was run in fading light on Sunday afternoon but that didn’t stop Nazmie Lee Marai from powering to the front in the final stages of the race in impressive style.
Marai used his trademark finishing burst to breeze past several athletes including Wisil, who had led from the gun.