The eight Papua New Guinea athletes representing PNG in the Tokyo Olympics have all strong finishes in their respective codes.
Female weighlifter Dika Toua made Olympic history, as the first female weightlifter to compete at five Olympic Games as she finished 10th out of fourteen (14) athletes
Toua was the first PNG athletes to compete in the 49kg event, at the Tokyo International Forum, on 24th July 2021.
At 37, she was the oldest athlete in the field and had to change weight category due to the new Olympic weight categories, at these Games, having formerly lifted in the 53kg category.The field of 14 athletes included current senior world record holder in the Snatch and Total, Chinese athlete, Zhihui Hou and world record holder in the Clean and Jerk, India’s Chanu Saikhom Mirabai.
In her first attempt, Toua snatched 69kg followed by 72kg in her second attempt. She had attempted 76kg in her final attempt but was not able to complete the lift to settle for 72kg. In the Clean and Jerk round, Toua attempted 95kgs in her first attempt but was unable to complete the lift. She was able to hold 95kgs in her second attempt. In an attempt to improve her overall total, she had attempted 100kgs however; she was not able to hold on to complete the lift as she settled for 95kgs to finish with a total of 167kg. She finished fourth in Group B and tenth overall.
Toua is now looking forward to represent PNG in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham 2022.
Male weightlifter Morea Baru was the second PNG athlete to compete. Morea competed in the Men’s 61kg, snatched 118kgs and 147kgs in Clean & Jerk with a total lift of 265kgs. He finished third in Group B and tenth overall, four places down from his sixth placed finished in Rio 2016.
Like his fellow lifter Dika Toua, he is also has his eyes set for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham 2022.
Boxer John Ume put on a brave bout against Autralian Boxer Harry Garside in the Mens 60kg Lightweight category. Garside won the bout.
This is Ume’s first Olympic Games appearance.
Sailing – Rose-Lee Numa and Teariki Numa
Papua New Guinea’s sailing duo Teariki Numa and Rose-Lee Numa has strong finishes in the Laser racing event. Rose-Lee has had to tough it out with an Achilles’ injury the last two days of the competition. She was in pain getting around the course both days but was determined to complete all of her races.
Teariki saved his best until last with his most consistent day of racing. Better starts allowed Teariki better options on the racecourse and to mix it up more with his competitors to finish off the races positively.
Both have made big improvements with many aspects of their sailing. Starting is the most technical and difficult area of the sport and this is the area that they have made the biggest gains. Even though these games have been affected by COVID, they have made many new fantastic friends from all over the world.
Swimmer Ryan Maskelyne broke his own National Record in the 200m Breaststroke at Tokyo Aquatics Centre to finish second in his heat.
Maskelyne who is based in Brisbane, Australia was ecstatic with setting a new National Record and attributed his performance to his work with his coach Shaun Crow.
Maskelyne finished 32nd out of 40 Swimmers.
Judith Meauri’s made her second Olympic appearance at the Tokyo Games, had a great swim in the Women’s 50m Freestyle. Winning heat number 4 with a time of 27.56 secs. Beating her own time set in London (27.84 secs).
She’s finished 53 out of 84 swimmers in the Women’s 50m Freestyle.
Both swimmers will be heading back into training, after their quarantine period is over, in the lead up to the World Short Course Championships, in Abu Dhabi, in December, followed by the 2022 Commonwealth Games, in Birmingham.
Athletics – Long Jump
Rellie Kaputin was the last athlete to compete.
Kaputin who made a Olympic debut, went into the event as the lowest ranked (world ranking 69) athlete. Heldeld her nerve to complete two of three jumps to record a best jump of 6.40m in three attempts. She fouled in her first attempt and came back to record 6.30m in her second attempt followed by 6.40m in her final jump – 2cms out from her season’s best jump of 6.42m.
Kaputin finished eleventh in Group A and finished 19th overall out of 30 athletes.
Kaputin returned to PNG and has her eyes fixed on the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games in July next year.