Twelve Centres have confirmed to participate in the National track and field championships in Kokopo, which kicks off this Saturday.
The St Peter’s Chanel College will host the three-day event.
A full range of events will be offered in both the Open and Under 18 divisions, and a limited number of events for the Under 16s and 14s.
The twelve centres confirmed are New Ireland, Kimbe, Bialla, Lae, Goroka, Simbu, Mt Wilhelm, Enga, East Sepik, NCD and Central, and joining hosts East New Britain. There was also a late indication from Manus.
Strong competition is expected from US based athletes who are in the country in the mens sprints with the 400 metres being the likely highlight of the weekend.
In form, Theo Piniau will face Kevin Kapmatana, Wala Gime and another rising talent Kaminiel Matlaun.
In the shorter event, Junior Avefa from Goroka will be aiming to prove readiness for the Commonwealth Games as he lines up in a strong 100m field alongside Kupun Wisil, Piniau, Gime and Port Moresby’s Nazimie Lee Marai.
In the long distance events, Sapolai Yao will face Kupsy Bisamo, and Simbai Kasper is determined to erase a disappointing memory at Mini Pacific Games in Wallis and Futuna last year.
US-based Sharon Kwarula will also be competing at the championships, including Adrine Monagi, Sharon Toako, and Rellie Kaputin.
Kokopo-based Donna Koniel is expected to make a prominence blitz in the 400m, 800m and 400m hurdles.
Athletics PNG’s travelling teams for the Oceania Championships and Commonwealth Games will be announced after the championships.
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