By MICHAEL PHILIP
DESPITE the Coronavirus (Covid-19) affecting training, Papua New Guinea jumper Eldan Toti is primed for this weekend’s PNG Air National Athletics Championships in Kimbe, West New Britain.
“Training has been good, but the Covid-19 restrictions have made it a little difficult,” said the 25-year-old, who trains under coach and PNG sprint legend Nelson Stone at Nest Athletics Club.
“Stone and I have been working on my technique, so I’m looking forward to giving my best this weekend,” Toti said.
The Vunapalading native was only 22 when he was selected by Team National Capital District for the 2017 national championships in Lae.
It was Toti’s first time to represent the province at the national level, qualifying for the high, triple and long jumps.
His selection was no mistake, according to the East New Briton, as he had been consistent as a rookie jumper under Kokofa Athletics Club coach John Gitiri.
For the first time and under coach Norman Tse, Toti represented his home province in the 2018 national championships in Goroka, Eastern Highlands.
He was then identified by Athletics PNG in 2019 to compete in the Oceania championships in Townsville, Australia.
Toti was again selected to compete in the Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa, in that year.
The New Guinea Islander is now working hard to rebound from a knee injury which he had sustained while attempting to change his landing technique as ordered by his coach in Australia in 2019.
Toti said the injury had set him back on the Gold Coast, but he had now put it behind him with the support of Pacific Games gold medallist and Olympian Stone.
He is one of the top jumpers in the country with records of 7.15m (long jump), 1.95m (high) and 14.27m (triple).
Meanwhile, Stone is counting on Toti to pick up from where he left off in last weekend’s Kimbe leg of the PNG Air Grand Prix series.