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Simbu lasses stole the show


From Left: Maria Naur, Paul Komba (Head Coach), and Anna Kaugla.

Two young lasses from Simbu stole the spotlight in the Long-Distance event during the PNG Air

National Track and Field Championship over the weekend (11th-14th) by bagging two medals each and for being two of the youngest participants among other runners in their category this year.


The 14-year-old Maria Naur from Kundiawa, Gembogl won a silver medal in the 5000m Open Women’s while 12-year-old Anna Kaugla from Kerowagi won bronze in the same event. They came behind National Athlete and Long-Distance Champion, Mary Tenge on Friday.


They then took to the track on Saturday in the 10,000m event and managed to come in first and

second place, respectively. Anna finished with 46.10 minutes and claimed the Gold Medal, while

Maria finished with 47. 24 minutes to claim the Silver Medal.


Both girls are currently doing grade 6. Anna goes to Barengigl Primary School and Maria goes to

Duglpugl Primary School.


Head Coach for Team Simbu Athletics, Paul Komba said he is proud of the girls for winning the

medals for Team Simbu. But they will get back to business once they return home to prepare for the PNG Games in December.


“I am proud of these girls. They have been running in the mountains and on grassy fields. Maria runs from Gembogl to Kundiawa and back every time. Anna has also been training very hard and all their hard work has paid off and I’m proud of them. Their wins go back to Team Simbu and our sponsor, Hon. Noah Kool. It also goes back to their families and schools, and they would be very happy with the girls,” overwhelmed coach Komba stated.


The girls were nervous at first but once they were on the track running, their nervousness and fear disappeared. They competed courageously.


“The girls said they were scared of the tracks at first. It looked enormous to them as they were used to fields, but they still got on the tracks and rose to the top,” Paul said.


Moreover, Mr. Komba said he has brought 5 long-distance runners of which three of them have won medals.


“I brought five long-distance runners and these two girls have done great. We also have Anna Tobby, who is a bit elderly person and she did well on the last day and I think has qualified for the Pacific Games,” he added.


The girls will travel back to Simbu Province and will return in December, representing Simbu to

participate in the PNG Games.

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