Team PNG’s Long Jump queen, Rellie Kaputin was the last athlete to fly the red, black and gold as she took to the stage on Day 9 of the Tokyo2020 Olympic Games.
Kaputin was the last to compete for Team PNG on day 3 of the Athletics competition in Tokyo as she shone through a field of world class athletes.
Coming into the event as the lowest ranked (world ranking 69) athlete, Kaputin held her nerve to complete two of three jumps to record a best jump of 6.40m in three attempts.
She fouled in her first attempt and came back to record 6.30m in her second attempt followed by 6.40m in her final jump. She was just 2cms out from her season’s best jump of 6.42m, which was set in June this year.
Kaputin finished eleventh in Group A and finished 19th overall out of 30 athletes. Only 12 spots were available in the final with 6.75m the automatic qualifying mark required to advance to the final.
Eight of the 12 athletes qualified automatically with four of the next best jumps also qualifying. Australia’s Brooke Stratton was the last athlete to qualify for the final with a jump of 6.60m.
Coach, Phillip Newton was very proud of Rellie’s performance.
“Rellie was up against top athletes that compete regularly at diamond league level. She was the lowest ranked athlete and still out performed some of the more established athletes to finish 19th overall”.
Rellie was very happy with her performance after overcoming a disappointing performance at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games where she had fouled in all her three attempts.
“I am really happy with my performance. I was nervous but I was able to pull off a 6.30m jump in my first successful jump and I was really happy with that. This was my second time to jump on the mondo track and is a track I’m not familiar with so to jump 6.40m is a really successful jump for me.”
“This gives me a lot of confidence with being able to compete with the best and I can take this confidence into the Commonwealth Games next year,” said a pleased Kaputin.
Kaputin returns to PNG before turning her attention to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games in July next year.