Team members bond well


The PNG-based members of the athletics team to the Pacific Mini Games in Port Vila are bonding as a team in Port Moresby at a four-day camp ahead of their departure for Vanuatu this morning.
Coach Dior Lowry, assistant manager Nabase Duaba and coaches Wilson Malana and Allan Akia have been with the 10 male and six female athletes.
Athletics PNG president Tony Green thanked the deputy director of the PNG Education Institute Timothy Damole for the assistance with accommodating the team and caterer NCS for supporting the athletes in camp with some free meals.
Port Moresby-based Sharon Kwarula has also played a big supporting role to coach Lowry and the athletes.
For most athletes training has been light with a focus on recovery after the PNG Games in Kimbe last week. Coaches have been assessing the athletes with a view to finalising relay teams and making decisions on which three athletes will run each of the individual sprint events.
The athletics competition begins on Monday and ends on Thursday.
The PNG-based team members head to Vanuatu today and will be joined tomorrow by a group of seven athletes who are either based at the Gold Coast or have been undertaking their final preparations there. Eight US-based athletes will be arriving over the course of the next few days.
Afure Adah was added to the team in mid-November after clearing her availability to travel, however the hopes of another promising young sprinter Letisha Pukaikia were dashed last weekend when she suffered a hamstring injury which ruled her out of the Games.
The final team is 17 male and 15 female athletes.
Green expressed confidence that the team wouldl do well next week and predicted a few surprises from athletes who at this stage were still relatively unknown.
“A number of athletes have made big strides since the 2015 Games and are really looking forward to the Games,” he said.