Day three of the PNG Games athletics was another busy day for sprinters with round one of the 200m, semi finals of the 400m and the semi finals of the 4*100m relays. Sixty one athletes lined up for the womens 200m and 54 for the men and with no clear favourites for either division some close races are expected in the semi finals and finals. Both relays saw one of the favoured teams being disqualified with the Morobe women exchanging the baton outside the first change zone and the New Ireland men dropping the baton on the second exchange. Donna Koniel was in a class of her own in the 400m semi finals whilst in the 800m Koniel , Jenny Albert , Tuna Tine , Rama Kumilgo and Mirriam Goiye all ran under 2min 30. Helen Philemon comfortably won the womens long jump gold whereas East New Britains Annie Topal led a clean sweep for her team in the triple jump. Jane Pulu of East New Britain won the womens shot put with a throw of 10.97m and led the qualifying in the javelin with 37.64. Rama Kumilgo of Simbu won the first full womens steeplechase ever staged in PNG with a good time of 12min 03 seconds which was all the more impressive considering she had run the 800m semi finals just a few hours earlier. Skene Kiage won the mens steeplechase comfortably from David Georasi (ENB)
The mens eight event Octathlon came to a conclusion with the favourite Robson Yinambe powering away from the field to extend his lead from day one with fine performances in the high jump (1.80m) and 1000m (2min 55secs). Cletus Mosi of Morobe was second and newcomer David Stegman (WHP) showed his potential by finishing third in a field which started with 15 competitors. Albert Karo held off a strong challenge from Debono Paraka to win the shot put with a throw of 13 .15m to Paraka’s 13.00m.
An exciting mens 800m final is in prospect today following some good performances in the semi finals yesterday. Though Kaminiel Matlaun will start favourite there are lots of good athletes in the field including George Yamak (Western) , Veherney Babob and Claudie Komen (ENB) , Freddie Hongoworie (NCD) David Raka (Central) and Jerry Herman (ESP).