The National, Wednesday 15th May 2013
SPRINT stars Toea Wisil and Nelson Stone will lead an eight member team to Tahiti for the Oceania Championships in Papeete from June 3-5.
The athletes other athletes are veteran hurdler Mowen Boino, Sapolai Yao, Andipas Georasi Theo Piniau, Tuna Tine and Mong Tavol.
For Wisil, Stone and Boino the championships provide an opportunity to qualify for the World Championships which will be held in Moscow in August.
Athletes who win the Oceania Area Championship are deemed to have automatically qualified for the World Championships. However their selection is subject to meeting a minimum performance standard set by Athletics PNG. The in-form Wisil will be the clear favourite in the women’s 100m and 200m.
Stone, who recently competed at the Asian Grand Prix series in Thailand and Sri Lanka, has yet to show the sort of form that he displayed at the Olympic Games in London and will be taking a short break at home before returning to Brisbane to focus on the Oceania Championships.
Mowen Boino has yet to race this year and will have his work cut out to win the 400m hurdles event.
The veteran hurdler has however proved in the past that he can run quality times without the benefit of good lead-up competition.
Yao, who will run the steeplechase and 10,000m as well as Georasi (5,000m and 10,000m) are expected to have good competition against distance runners from the French territories.
Piniau has continued to show good form in the 400m since winning this event at the 2012 PNG Games and this will be a good stepping stone for him.
Tine will contest the women’s 800m and 1,500m and Mong Tavol the long jump and triple jump.
Philip Rehder will accompany the athletes as team manager with APNG development officer Monica Henao also travelling to Tahiti in order to attend a competition management seminar.
Meanwhile Cecilia Kumalalamene (pictured right), Sharon Kwarula (pictured left) and Wala Gime have graduated from Iowa Central Community College after a two-year course of study facilitated through the Oceania Foundation.
The three athletes will be competing this weekend at the National Junior College track and field championships in Kansas.
“Each athlete still has some classes to take before returning to PNG for the summer break,” Athletics PNG President Tony Green said.
It is understood that Kumalalamene from Pomio, East New Britain, and Kwarula, from East Sepik, have been offered scholarships by different Universities for a further two years, which will enable them to complete their degrees.