|PNG’s sprint queen ... Toea Wisil racing home to win the women’s 100m final of the 9th Pacific Mini Games..Photo The National|
ATHLETICS continued its run to bring in more gold medals for Team Papua New Guinea in the 2013 IX Mini Pacific Games in Wallis and Futuna with clean sweeps in two events.
Sprint queen Toea Wisil again stamped her authority, easily outpacing the opposition to take gold in the 100m.
The day started on a good note with a surprising win by Skene Kiage edging veteran countryman and favourite Sapolai Yao in the 3,000m steeplechase.
Kiage (9:56.06) made a rush in the last lap to overtake Yao (9:57.35) who was leading for most of the race. Inia Sili from Fiji came third (10:18.06).
In the women’s 800m, PNG made a clean sweep of the top three places when Jenny Albert (2:19.84), Tuna Tine (2:21.03) and Poro Gahekave (2:21.12) crossed the line ahead of runners from the other nations.
In the same way, later in the day, the PNG women’s 400m runners of Betty Burua, Wisil and Shirley Wunatup made a clean sweep.
Burua stopped the clock at 56.96s, Wisil 57.58s and Wunatup 58.50s. Wisil was leading most of the way but was overtaken by East New Briton Burua in the final 100m.
In the 100m, Wisil had no problem, stopping the clock at 11.68s, followed by Fijian Yunis Bese 12.21s and Nauru’s Lovelite Detenamo taking the bronze in 12.22s, which is a possible national record.
In the men’s 100m, Kupun chased the favourite Fijian, Banuve Tabakaucoro, all the way with the Fijian setting a new Mini Games record of 10.33s.
Kupun timed 10.60s and another Fijian, Francis Kirikiri finished third in 10.71s.
Until Peter Pulu came on the scene 10.60 was the PNG national record held by Takale Tuna. In the semi final “Banz,” as Kupun is known, ran 10.59 to equal Nelson Stone’s personal best and climb to equal second on the PNG all time best list. In other events, Kaminiel Matlaun won the bronze in the 800m and Mong Tavol grabbed bronze in the men’s triple jump.
In all, athletics brought in four gold, four silver, four bronze medals on day two of the competition