PNG’s top sprinter Leroy Kamau left for the United States today (Monday) take part in some competitions. With travel to Australia this year having been impossible due to covid induced travel restrictions, Athletics PNG decided that Kamau should head to the USA, whose borders have remained open to travellers from many countries. Kamau is PNG’s top male sprinter and dominated the 100m , 200m and 400m events at the National Championships in Port Moresby last December. “Leroy is in very good form after training with Nelson Stone for more than a year and we want to see what he can do when exposed to some quality competition” said APNG president Tony Green.There are a lot of good track meets in California and Texas next month and into June and we expect that Leroy will be in the USA for about two months. His competition schedule is still being finalised but we are sending him now to give him ample time to settle in and prepare for these meets.
At the West New Britain Athletic Championships on 14 November 2020 Kamau clocked a time of 21.15 seconds in the heats of the mens 200m. This was the fastest 200m ever recorded in PNG by a Papua New Guinean.
To put this performance in perspective we can look at the PNG All Time best performance list which shows that in the 60 year history of Athletics PNG, only national record holder Theo Piniau (20.97) and Nelson Stone (21.09) have run faster times, and they each did so on only one occasion. Theo achieved this time after three years in the United States on scholarship and Nelson also during his career spent several extended periods of training and competition in Australia. Although Leroy represented PNG at the Oceania Under 20 Championships in 2017 this is his only representative experience. After an absence from the sport during his final year of school in 2018 he returned to the track in the second half of 2019 and has been training under the guidance of Nelson Stone.
Leroy followed up this outstanding performance in Kimbe by totally dominating the Sprint events at the National Championships in Port Moresby three weeks later.