Athletes from around the country are arriving in Kimbe this week for the second part of the PNG Air Athletics Grand Prix series. The competition will serve as a useful lead up to the PNG Air National Championships which will also be held in Kimbe , from Dec 3 to 5.
With local competition programmes having been affected by venue closures this year the Grand Prix has provided valuable competition opportunities for the national squad.
The focus will be mostly on track events this weekend with the only field events being a mens long jump, mens and womens high jump and mens javelin.
The throws group being coached by Paul Bannister in Port Moresby are making up for lost training time this week and are focusing on the National Championships, as are a couple of PNG’s elite hurdles athletes Adrine Monagi and Daniel Baul.
The events will be hand timed this weekend, however electronic timing and photo finish system will be in operation at the National Championships
Eleven members of Nelson Stone’s Team Nest of 16 athletes will arrive in Kimbe today to compete in the Grand Prix events which are to be spread over three short sessions on Friday afternoon, Saturday morning and Sunday morning.
The middle and long distance athletes who have been training in Kerowagi and at Utmei Secondary are already in Kimbe along with Morobe athletes Edna Boafob and Isaac Kambuka.
With many top sprinters overseas these competitions are an opportunity for the next crop of young sprinters to show what they can do, and these include Paias Wisil and Jobbie Kinzu from NSI, local athlete Graham Bai, and Chabbie Solomon from NCD.
A good mens long jump competition is expected with PNG Reps Eldan Toti and Karo Iga, 2017 PNG Games champion Rocka Manau and young talent Kenneth Harrison all in the field.
Mary Tenge and Scholastica Herman are expected to feature strongly in the 3000m, with Aina Goir and Ongan Awa also aiming for a good showing.
Whilst the Grand Prix events are principally for the National Squad athletes, local athletes from WNB will be invited to fill up available lanes in track events. Additional events will also be available for the local athletes to take part in on Saturday and Sunday.
Athletics PNG President Tony Green thanked the West New Britain Provincial Administration for their support in allowing the events to proceed and for the logistical support provide through the Sports Division and venue management.
He urged local teachers who missed out on the Technical officials training in September to take the opportunity to attend next weeks Oceania Athletics Training Course for Officials which will be delivered by Philip Kamane and Lazarus Bureng. APNG will also be delivering an OBAS Coaching Course from 7 to 10 December in Kimbe.