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By David Susuve

The road to success starts within a heart that wants to be the best at something.

Meet 19-year-old Papua New Guinea bowling sensation John Kariko Jnr as he shares his inspirational story that got him to win the junior male athlete of the year award at the recently held 31st SP Brewery sponsored awards night at the Crown Hotel.

The road to his achievement came as a result of self-determination and hard work.

Kariko’s recognition comes after a blistering show for the PNG Garamuts last year in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in West Indies.

Upon receiving his award, Kariko told EMTV Sports Program “Sports Scene” that he was honoured to rip the benefits of hard work.

“Getting recognised was an honour for me, because this is the very first time, I’ve being recognised at such a big event,” Kariko said.

“After returning from the U19 WC, Kariko and few Garamut members were invited to train with the men’s national team.

“Most of the boys we trained together with gave up half-way through, but I continued training despite not being paid.

 “Kariko’s effort finally paved way when he was named in the final Barramundis team for the ICC World League Two tour in Dubai early this year.

In his debut appearance, Kariko featured prominently taking five wickets against Canada.

“I had a dream to be the best PNG bowler one day and I had to work hard to achieve that dream,” said Kariko.

“It takes hard work if you want to be the best.

How much work will it take? That depends on your goal or the greatness of your dream if you want to be the best.”

 “Winning this award will give me confidence to pursue more opportunities in my career going forward,” added Kariko.

Kariko also thanked his parents and Cricket PNG for nurturing and developing his talent from the academy level into the elite team.

Meanwhile, his father Noel Kariko said it was an honour to see his son make the final nomination and to be awarded is overwhelming.

“As a father I am proud of his achievement and will continue giving him the support he needs.”

He said John believed in himself and that was shown through his success at the junior level.

Kariko bagged the award ahead of PNG Under-17 basketball representative Adam Makai and tennis star Sugar-Ray Hakena.

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