Toea Wisil won the prestigious sprint double at the Australian Athletics Championships in Sydney on the weekend.
Toea clocked 11.42 seconds to win the 100m clearly over Australian Record holder Melissa Breen. She has beaten Breen on each occasion this season and prepared very well for this meet. Even so, she needed to ensure she brought her A game and this she did. After a recalled start, she held her composure and the smile could not be wiped from her face at the end of the race.
After a big two days of racing and a late night by the time she returned to her hotel on Saturday night, the 200m was always going to be a test of both physical and mental strength. Toea has done a lot of work over the past year and it paid off. With strong headwinds blowing up for the 200m races it was never going to be about the time. Up against Rio Olympic semi-finalist and overwhelming pre-race favourite Ella Nelson, meant she was given some very specific advice from her coach Tony Fairweather, on how to execute the race. And the humble girl from the highlands in Papua New Guinea followed the instructions to perfection. She ran her trademark blistering bend and opened up in the home straight. Nelson was closing hard and Toea dug deep to hold her out. Her time of 23.76 seconds (-2.4) was not of concern as this proved the work she has been doing on the training track is really paying off.
The Championships have capped off a memorable domestic season for the PNG record holder and she now looks forward to moving on to higher levels of competition in Japan in May and Europe in July. OAA is celebrating Toea’s magnificent achievement.