By SUSAN OREAPE
QUEEN of the tracks, Mae Koime, is all set to beat the odds at national athletics championships at the Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium in Lae starting today.
Koime, who took part in the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne early this year, laid the foundation for the sprint titles in last few months and looks forward to the challenge.
“I am looking forward to some good times and also good competition against other runners and also showcase my best performance,” Koime said.
Coach Naomi Polum said this year’s championships would be tough with more centres participating.
She said after the Commonwealth Games the interest of youngsters in the code had increased to a new level.
More than 400 athletes from 10 provinces have nominated for the championships, the biggest entry for many years.
Teams will come from Western Highlands, Simbu, Eastern Highlands, Morobe, Madang, East Sepik, East New Britain, New Ireland and NCD.
Australian athletics coach Lloyd Way will arrive in the country from Brisbane today with athlete Kimberley Murphy to witness the titles.
They will assist PNG coaches conduct a training camp for the national squad members and identify the new talent.
Meanwhile, National Teachers Insurance (PNGTI) Ltd yesterday dished out K5,000 towards the event.
The money will be used to meet travel, local transport, equipment hire and meal costs for technical officials.
Koime thanked PNGNTIL saying it was hard to find sponsors and they were grateful for the help.
By WENDY KATUSELE
TOEA Wisil was in devastating form at the national athletics championships winning the 100m and 400m ahead of Mae Koime at the weekend in Lae.
The championships attracted over 400 athletes from as far as Bougainville, Goroka, Madang, Karkar, Kimbe, Kavieng, Rabaul, Simbu, Ukarumpa, Wewak, Bulolo and Morobe.
Though no records were broken at the three-day event, Wisil’s scintillating form were outside her personal best times.
But Koime, who has taken time off the track since coming back from the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, was also nursing a sore foot being slashed by a broken lourve blade which had six stitches.
Wisil on Saturday won the 100m in 12.1s while Koime clocked 12.2s and Raphaela Baki finished third in 12.4s.
In the 400m, also on the same day, Wisil running in Morobe colours, had the crowd cheering her victory ahead of Koime and Cecelia Kumalalamene respectively.
Wisil was also part of the Morobe women’s team that won the 4x100m and 4x 400m relays.
However, Koime came back yesterday to take one back with a strong performance to take out the 200m dash, which had the crowd roaring as the two top sprinters proving their worth.
Running with a padded foot, Koime finished in a time of 25.0s, Wisil 25.0s and Baki third in a time of 26.1.
Koime told The National after the race, that the previous day she was running in a lot of discomfort but 200m race was better with her running with pads.
In the men’s 100m, Morobe’s Henry Ben won the race in a time of 10.6s ahead of teammate Wally Kirika 10.7s and Fabian Nuilai 10.8s while Peter Pulu making a comeback finished fourth in 11.0s.
Ben finished behind Nuilai in the 200m while Port Moresby’s Egora Waname finished third.
In Under 18 women’s, Port Moresby’s Nadia Bais won the 100m dash ahead of Julie Waninara of Rabaul and Lindsay Petau of Kimbe.
Port Moresby’s George Nanai showed promising signs with a top performance taking the men’s Under 18 sprint events.
Commonwealth Games team member Mowen Boino continued his dominance in the hurdles easily taking out the 110m and 400m in a time of 15.3s and 48.2s respectively.
Sapolai Yao also won his favourite events 10,000m and 5,000m steeple chase receiving ovation from the crowd remembering the Melbourne Games.
In the men’s long jump Sandy Katusele leaped 14.30m ahead of Kimbe’s Travis Elisha’s 12.79m, who showed promising signs of becoming one of the country’s top jumpers, and Morobe’s Vendolf Gweand 12.51m.
Katusele also won the long jump (6.83m) ahead of Elisha (6.18m) while Port Moresby’s Kohodai Dada finished third with a jump of 6.09m.