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Peniel sets new national records

By Nathan WOTI            SportsTok MAgazine | Issue #94 JUNE | 2021


While his hope to win gold medal for his country still remains intact, Papua New Guinea triple jump national record holder, Richard Peniel, has put up some seasons’ best performances so far in the United States’ college competitions.
The 26 year old finished 3rd place at the National College Athletics Association Division 2 indoor season with a new PNG national indoors record of 15.56m in the Triple Jump event. Richard’s mark was listed as the second best mark in the programs’ history. It improved on his previous indoor record of 15.31m set in January this year. The result earned him third place in a very close competition where he went into the final round in the lead after posting a 15.49m effort with his fourth jump. However, two athletes bettered this with their final jumps to set up a dramatic climax to the competition, and although Richard improved to 15.56 it wasn’t enough to snatch the title. In the outdoor event, Richard also broke the national record of 15.51m which he had set at the Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa last year. He won in the All-Lone Star Conference.
Peniel dreams of representing PNG at the Commonwealth and Olympic Games might become a reality sooner. Although he had missed the Tokyo Olympics, the Eastern Highlander continues to rise above the very best in the American Division 2 national college competitions. With the current best form that he is, Peniel has placed himself as the best in the field of long, triple and high jump for PNG this season.  His incredible form in the last couple of years should place him eligible for a call to team PNG for the next commonwealth games.



Peniel Richard first set a new national record in 2017 Mini Pacific Games in Vanuatu. He recorded a mark of 7.23 meters in the long jump, and 15.45 meters in the triple jump event. He later broke his own two national records during the 2019 Pacific games in Apia, Samoa.However, when you admire and love athlete like the great Usain Bolt, there is no margin for errors or slowing down. Peniel has always acknowledge his admiration for the Jamaican sprint king, Usain Bolt. And following Usian’s footsteps, there is no slowing down. It is a fast lane if you choose it and you must be ready to mentality and physically. According to Oceania Athletics website, Peniel listed down the greatest sprinter of all-time, Usain Bolt, as his ultimate goal to reach in the sport of athlete.“Usain is my all-time favorite athlete. Simply because he’s confident and is very inspiring to young athletes in terms of how he acts and speaks, he’s a great competitor”, Peniel wrote on the description next to who he admires in the world of sports.What makes this Eastern Highlander and East New Britain native special is his attitude towards the sport, especially in his trainings. Although he trains alone most of the time, Peniel is very disciplined and committed to his trainings and to the cause of one day representing PNG at the commonwealth and the Olympic Games.His journey in the sport of athleticism started back when he was still in high school playing basketball. He joined the athletics because of the scholarship opportunity he heard they were giving out to potential best future athletes to go over to USA to study and compete some of the best junior athletes in world.    Richard is currently studying at the West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas. He is on a full on scholarship under the PNG Athletics Scholarship Program. He becomes the fourth PNG athlete to attend the university after fellow PNG team mates Rellie Kaputin, Theo Pinau and Sharon Kwarula. Richard aims to complete his degree in Kinesiology and compete in the Commonwealth and the Olympic Games.

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