Elite athletes Toea Wisil , Mowen Boino and Betty Burua fly into Lae this weekend for the National Track and Field Athletic Championships at the Sir Ignatius Kilage stadium in Lae. They will be joined by all of the PNG based Pacific Games Training Squad members who will be out to impress the selectors who will meet this weekend to select the final team. The training squad names had to be with the PNG Olympic Committee last month in order to meet Justification Committee requirements and the final team must be selected from that squad. Athletics PNG President Tony Green stated that it was now too late for new athletes to be added. “Weve had several major competitions in the last 12 months said Green , including the 2014 national championships , PNG Games and Regional championships as well as the well publicised talent ID programme in December 2013” he added.
Strong competition is expected in the middle and long distance events for both men and women with the highlight likely to be the mens 800m with Kaminiel Matlaun facing a strong challenge from the fast improving Martin Orovo from Popondetta who has improved significantly since being identified at the PNG Games. In the womens events the resurgent Miriam Goiye will again be racing against a crop of young athletes including Jenny Albert , Bala Nicholas , Mary Kua and Ongan Awa. In the absence of Nelson Stone who will be in Brisbane, the mens 100m is expected to be a close contest between reigning national champion Kupun Wisil , Joe Matmat , Nazmie Lee Marai , Wesley Logorava and Dwayne Koroka. Wisil will be hoping for a strong showing at the Championships as he has not competed since the PNG Games.The highlight of the womens sprints is expected to be the 400m with both Burua and Toea Wisil in the line up
Teams are expected from East New Britain , New Ireland , West New Britain , Simbu , Enga , Goroka , NCD , Madang East Sepik , Morobe , and Popondetta. We don’t expect the large numbers that we have had in the last two years said Green as many provinces spent big on the PNG Games and the same level of funding support is not available to provincial teams. However this championship is important for the PNG based squad members. We have a lot of athletes training overseas and it is important that the PNG based athletes are given the opportunity to make the team for the Games.