East New Britain Province has taken out the Athletics PNG’s 53rd Open and Under 18 National championships with a tally of 51 medals after the meet ended.
Team NCD and New Ireland came second and third respectively, but the East New Britain team, boasting a handful of overseas-based athletes and talented locals, were out in force.
Held in Ulapia on the Outskirts of Kokopo Town in East New Britain, the home side would always have had a good advantage with both familiarity to the course, and a strong support base.
The three-day competition has had a slow start due to the late arrivals of some of the teams.
There were 260 Athletes representing twelve different clubs and provinces, ENB with the biggest contingent of 80, New Ireland next on fifty, with the farthest travelling team Enga, bringing in 18.
Enga also boasting the presence of their Governor, Peter Ipatas, who came as a parent.
President of Tony Green said the Championships presented a great opportunity to gauge the level of performances of a lot of the athletes, with the commonwealth games just over a month away.
The championships featured 16 events in track, field and throwing events, and also showcased younger athletes in the Under 14 and Under 16 divisions.
Team East New Britain had a number of athletes who were under the ‘Go for Gold ‘ Program and were dominating the competition.
Rellie Kaputin, Donna Koniel, Theo Piniau and Kevin Kapmatan all shone for the home side. While the eyes were on the athletes training overseas, the local sprinters were also showing good form.
High school student Annie Tobul, beating her illustrious opponents Tehilar Womala and Priscillar John in the Open women’s 200m final.
East New Britain took out 17 gold, 20 Silver and 14 bronze, NCD on 17 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze, New Ireland with 10 gold, 6 silver and 15 bronze, and Simbu rounding off the top four with 9 gold, 10 silver and 6 bronze.
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