PORT MORESBY, (POST COURIER) – Theo Piniau and Toea Wisil will be the Athletics representatives for PNG at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in August.
Piniau secured his spot as a result of his record breaking performance in the 200m last week after a long and very close battle with Mowen Boino.
The veteran hurdler ran a seasons best 51.95 seconds on Sunday in his last competition in Florida which was worth 1034 points on the IAAF scoring tables but this wasn’t enough to overhaul the 1072 point performance from Piniau on June 11 Athletics PNG has conveyed its congratulations to Piniau and acknowledged the huge contribution Boino has made.
“Mowen was the first to congratulate Theo last week and has been a big help to him during their time together,” said President Tony Green.
Coach Dior Lowry who has been with the athletes in Florida said that the friendship between the two goes far beyond athletics and it is only on the track where there is evidence of competition.
“Mowen has been a model for the younger athletes, displaying hard work, class and consistency as evidence by his performances over many years” he said.
Commenting on his achievement, Piniau said he was very happy and proud about the decision of being selected. “I do not really have much to say but all I can say is that it is a great privilege for me and I really look forward for final preparations before competing at that level of competition against whoever it may be.
“I’d like to thank Athletics PNG for their help building me up from first recognition in high school to my current state, also thanks to PNGOC and management for their efforts in supporting APNG as a whole”
Toea Wisil is also confirmed in the team now that the PNGOC qualifying period has come to an end and no other female athletes have come close to qualifying. That means that the one place available to PNG under the universality rule will be taken by Wisil. However Wisil is still hoping to run the qualifying time of 11.32secs in the 100m.
She came very close to this in Lae on June 11 and is expected to compete against one of Australia’s top sprinters Ashley Whittaker again in Cairns this weekend and will then run at the Melanesian Championships in Fiji next month. Philip Rehder will be the Athletics Team Manager to Rio and the coach will be Alison Fairweather.