The race between Toea Wisil and Rellie Kaputin for the one place available in Athletics at the Tokyo Olympics is heading for a tense climax with both athletes having just one more competition opportunity on Saturday.
The automatic qualifying standards in both the 100m and long jump are very high and have proved elusive for both athletes so far.
Wisil’s season’s best time for the 100m is 11.57 compared to the qualifying time of 11.15, and for Kaputin the automatic qualifier is 6.82m and she recorded a season’s best jump of 6.28m on June 5.
Countries with no qualified athletes are allowed to enter one athlete under the Universality rule.
The selection policy for PNG in such a situation is to choose the athlete with the highest world ranking, but the issue is complicated by the rules surrounding field event entries.
“For the 100m there is no minimum standard for a Universality place,” said Athletics PNG President Tony Green but for field events, athletes are not automatically accepted.
World Athletics Technical staff will assess the standard of the athlete compared to others in the field and make a decision.
Kaputin currently has a world ranking of 58 when the list is filtered to include a maximum of three from any one country, whereas Wisil ranks 89 on the same scale.
Kaputin is hoping to improve on her season’s best in her final competition in Townsville on Saturday where it is thought that a mark of 6.40m + would boost her chances.
Wisil has been competing in Florida recently and is understood that’s she is considering a race in North Carolina on Saturday.