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PNG dominates Team Melanesia for Oceania Cup

Papua New Guinea (PNG) athletes have dominated Team Melanesia by having thirteen athletes among seventeen-member teams for the 2023 Oceania Athletics Association event for June in the Northern Marianas. The other Melanesians countries such as Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Norfolk Island have sent one representative each.

The PNG’s male representatives are; Daniel Baul, Karo Iga, Leroy Kamau, Adolf Kauba, De'Bono Paraka, and Aquila Turalom, while females representatives are: Leonie Beu, Edna Boafob, Scholastica Herman, Rellie Kaputin, Adrine Monagi, Mary Tenge, and Sharon Toako.

Other Melanesian nations representatives include Inoke Waisake from Fiji, Chloe David from Vanuatu, Taleyah Jones from Norfolk Island, and O’Neil Rakau from Solomon Islands.

The oceania cup had given an opportunity to member federations to send extra athletes to Saipan in preparation for the Pacific Games in Honiara, and so PNG has added sprinter Pais Wisil to the 13 PNG athletes. This brings the total number of PNG athletes to fourteen.

These athletes were qualified for the championships because their personal best scores met the qualifications level of Oceania and world athletics.

The Melanesian team will compete against Polynesia, Micronesia, Australia and Northern Mariana.

Furthermore, President of Oceania Athletics, Robin Sapong had acknowledged the presence of PNGs current sprint champion Leroy Kamau and Leanie Beu in his statement on their media release.

“The Melanesian team will be seeing a changing of the guard in the sprint ranks, with Leroy Kamau and Leonie Beu, of PNG, with some fast times whilst in College in the USA securing their place in the Melanesian team.”

Meanwhile, Athletics PNG President Tony Green said it was a great achievement for PNG to have so many athletes selected for the team and this reflects not only our strong showing at recent Pacific Games but our ongoing programmes and consistent performances by our athletes.

Coach Brett Green and team manager Sharon Atuai have also been recognized for their hard work by being selected by Oceania AA to look after the team.

Moreover, the Oceania Cup has been brought back into the calendar of Oceania to align with the Oceania and World Athletics strategic plan to create inspiring competitions. This teams-based format is aimed to improve the performance standard and support the MF opportunity for qualification opportunities.

The event will be hosted in Oleai stadium in Saipan, Northern Marianas.

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