ATHLETICS Papua New Guinea (APNG) president Tony Green met with East New Britain (ENB) officials last week to discuss this year’s revised calendar which includes the New Guinea Islands championships. His PNG Air-sponsored trip saw him visit Utmei Secondary School in the Inland Baining local-level government area of Gazelle, which national distance coach Bernard Manau is the principal.

With international events — including the World Cross Country Championships in Australia — pencilled in for next year, APNG is looking at ways to help prepare athletes.
“One option under consideration for distance runners is to bring another three athletes over to ENB to join the five training under Manau,” Green said.
“There are three national squad members who are at home and not working or in school so it makes sense to bring them into a group training situation where the athletes can all help each other.“ We’ve done this many times in the past in Lae and Goroka and we had a big group training in Kokopo in 2013 and 2014 before most team members went overseas to prepare for the 2015 Games.” Chimbu athletes Mary Tenge and Siune Kagl, both medallists at last year’s Games, are attending Utmei Secondary School along with two upcoming Duke of York distance runners in Monica Kalua and Israel Takap.

“Having the championships in Australia is a once-in-a-generation opportunity and APNG wishes to make the most of this by giving its athletes the experience of rubbing shoulders with the very best distance runners in the world,” Green said. “This event dates back to 1973 and has only been held once in Oceania and that was in New Zealand in 1988. “Obviously, an event of this nature will only go ahead in March next year if the world has managed to contain the Covid-19 pandemic and a semblance of normality has returned to international travel. “However, we want to be ready when international competitions resume.”

Original Article by The National – https://www.thenational.com.pg/apng-president-visits-east-new-britain/