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June 23, 2021
Pacific Sport

PNG’s Kaputin and NZ’s Gill shine but hosts Australia dominate day three of Oceania Athletics Championships

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Papua New Guinea’s Rellie Kaputin at the 2018 XXI Commonwealth Games/PNGOC File Image.

TOWNSVILLE, 28 JUNE 2019 (INSIDE THE GAMES)—Papua New Guinea’s Rellie Kaputin completed a rare double in the women’s horizontal jumps and New Zealand’s Jacko Gill won the men’s shot put on a day of action at the Oceania Athletics Championships in Townsville that belonged to hosts Australia.

Kaputin upset Brooke Stratton and Naa Anang in the long jump on Tuesday (June 25) and she beat two other Australians – Ellen Pettitt and Aliyah Johnson – to win the triple jump at Townsville Sports Reserve.

The quality of opposition may not have been as high, but Kaputin’s best effort of 13.04 metres saw her finish 10 centimetres clear of Pettitt who, in turn, had 7cm to spare over Johnson.

Gill, meanwhile, bettered his own Championship record in taking the shot put gold medal with a distance of 20.75m, just 26cm shy of his personal best of 21.01m set in January 2017.

He faced a potentially tough opponent in Australia’s Damien Birkinhead, but the Kiwi’s mark gave him more than a metre to spare over his rival’s best of 19.55m.

Another New Zealander, Ryan Ballantyne, took the bronze medal with 19.05m.

Of the 27 individual track medals contested on the day, Australia took 23 and won both 4x100m relays.

It was closer in the remaining four events – the heptathlon and three field events – but even in them the hosts triumphed twice and claimed six medals out of 11 overall to five for the rest.

Gold medallist Kiara Reddingius of Australia and Christina Ryan of New Zealand were the only two to complete the heptathlon, managing point totals of 5,149 and 4,756, respectively.

One of Australia’s other winners was Catriona Bisset in the women’s 800m in 2 min 2.16sec, well clear of New Zealand’s Angela Petty, second in 2:03.41, and Morgan Mitchell, third in 2:05.02.

“I think everyone expected me to lead,” said Bisset, who is coached by Peter Fortune, coach of Australia’s former Olympic and world 400m champion Cathy Freeman.

“So they basically pushed me to the front.

“I had a couple of good performances and my coach said ‘I think we should have some bigger goals’.”

Bisset’s primary goal at the start of this season was the Summer Universiade in Naples, but her horizons have expanded and she has already been selected for the 2019 International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships in Doha.

“Sometimes it feels like a shock, but looking back, there has been a lot of signs, some sessions and races which felt easy,” she said of her rapid progress.

“But it has still been a big change.”

Joshua Ralph made it an Australian 800m double, taking the men’s title in 1:49.34.

Teammate Mason Cohen was second in 1:49.77, while New Zealand’s Brad Mathas was third in 1:50.47.

There were further home doubles in the 400m hurdles – Sarah Klein in 56.07 and Ian Dewhurst in 50.79 – and the 3,000m steeplechase – Paige Campbell narrowly from Georgia Whincup, 9:46.40 to 9:46.51, and Ben Buckingham in 8:41.15.

Marathon runner Sinead Diver ran a credible 32:25.86 in the warm daylight conditions to win the women’s 10,000m.

Australia also dominated the flat 400m with Steven Solomon taking the men’s race in 46.12 and 19-year-old Bendere Oboya the women’s in 52.76.

The event is due to conclude today with 11 gold medals to be contested in senior events.



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