Athletics PNG has sent a strong team of 15 male and 12 female athletes to Suva , Fiji for the Melanesian Championships . Following the recent national championships in Lae four PNG based athletes have been added to the preliminary team that was announced on May 17 . These are Emmanuel Wanga , Abel Siune , Martin Orovo , and Nancy Malamut . New Zealand based fifteen year old Letisha Pukaikia has also been included to run the U18 sprints following her strong performances at Nationals.
Support from the PNG Olympic Committee has also facilitated the inclusion of several USA based athletes including Rellie Kaputin , Theo Piniau Adrine Monagi , and Peniel Richard.
In announcing the team, Secretary Philip Rehder said that the priority this year has been maintaining the motivation and interest of those athletes who did well for us at the Pacific Games and are an important part of our future plans. Funding for the team has come from a number of different sources including the IAAF , Oceania Athletics and the PNG Olympic Committee.
The full team is : Men Nazmie Lee Marai , Wesley Logorava , Charles Livuan , Ephraim Lerkin, Peniel Joshua, Piniau, Wanga , Orovo , Siune, Richard , Steven Ray , Robson Yinambe , George Yamak, Debono Paraka and Mowen Boino. Female : Toea Wisil , Afure Adah,Shirley Vunatup , Donna Koniel , Malamut , Miriam Peni , Pukaikia, Monagi , Kaputin , Mary Kua , Jacklyn Travertz and Annie Topal. Team Manageress will be Monica Henao with Nola Peni assisting. USA based Coach Dior Lowry who has worked with several PNG athletes in the last two years will be in Fiji prior to the Championships attending a high level Coaching Course and will stay on to be the Head Coach of the PNG team. Vanuatu based Mowen Boino will make the short hop from Port Vila to Suva and to assist Lowry and will run only his favourite 400m hurdles event.