The National, Wednesday, May 18, 2011
THE group of six PNG track and field development squad athletes who attended the Arafura Games in Darwin last week recorded a number of personal best performances and returned with 10 medals.
Eunice Steven, who is preparing for the heptathlon event led the way with gold in the women’s long jump and bronze in the shot put.
Upcoming middle distance runner Tuna Tine from Simbu recorded a very good personal best 4:50 to win the silver medal in the 1500m and ran a great race in the 800m to claim silver in a tight finish.
A bronze in the 3000m capped a great week for her.
Fellow Simbu athlete Kupsy Bisamo also was in great form and ran a huge personal best 15:35 in the 5000m after having won silver in the 3000m with a time of 9:03.89 after a great battle with team mate Andipas Georasi.
The pair ran shoulder to shoulder for the last 2000m and were split by just one tenth of a second at the finish.
Bisamo is shaping up to be strong medal prospect in Noumea if he continues to improve.
Donna Koniel was disappointed to pick up only the bronze in the women’s 400m after a great run in the semi-finals and her frustration was compounded when she fell in the 400m hurdles race after being expected to challenge NCD’s Sharon Kwarula for the gold.
Fifteen-year-old Anna Pius from Mt Wilhelm, Chimbu, also attended the Games and although she won bronze in the women’s 5000m, she was unable to improve on the times she ran at the selection trials in Lae last month.
PNG Athletics Union president Tony Green said the purpose of the trip was to give the athletes some experience in overseas competition ahead of the Pacific Games.
“Most of the athletes made mistakes of one kind or another in competition, but hopefully they will learn from the experience and make improvements,” he added.