The High Jump looks to be a very close affair with none of the main competitors standing out from the pack with their 2017 form. Fiji NR Holder, Malakai Kaiwalu (2.09m in the Melanesian Championships in 2016), jumped 1.90m at this year’s Nationals. Peniel Richard (PNG) has cleared 2.00m this season and in his last successful outing jumped 1.98m. Australia’s Sebastian Gray, with a PB of 2.02m, jumped 1.95m in April at the Australian National Championships. It is a title that is up-for-grabs.
With only two in the Pole Vault final, the favourite would have to be Tonga’s Soape Polutele. In 2015-2016 he reached heights ranging from 3.60m to 3.80m. His main opponent is Caihe Caihe, a Decathlete from New Caledonia.
Sam Toleman (AUS) has good current form coming into the final of the Long Jump. This year he has jumps of 7.28m and 7.18m to his credit. PNG’s Richard Peniel has had an up-and-down year, with inconsistent form. If he can tap into the form from April-May, when he jumped a windy 7.53m, he will be hard to beat. He has also a legal 7.23m to finally claim the PNG NR.
Fiji has had an enviable record in producing 7 metre jumpers – most of them through the school system. One of the most consistent for several years has been Waisale Dausoko. In the past four years in major competition he has jumped 7.17m, 7.29m windy, 7.50m and 7.40m in last year’s Melanesian Championships. A quality, reliable athlete. Sireli Bulivorovoro is also a regular Fiji jumper who has been 7.00m this year and 7.35m in last year’s Melanesian Champs.
The Triple Jump field has been weakened by the withdrawal of two key Fijians, but the one who has had the best jump of the year – Kalaveti Mokosiro (14.89m) is still in the competition. PNG’s Peniel Richard is hoping to re-find his early season form when he jumped 15.22m indoors and an outdoor windy 15.42m. Last year he broke the PNG NR with 15.35m.
The Shot Put field has seen the inclusion of a “new” Samoan candidate, who has made the switch from Powerlifting. His is known as Oliva “The Beast” Kirisome. His best distance of the year is 16.72m. He is yet another colorful character to adorn the shot circle. Will he be as entertaining as Shaka Sola? We hope so. Countryman, Robert Sua, has thrown the 7.26kg shot a distance of 6.18m. They are well clear of the rest of the field – Mustafa Fall (FIJ – SB of 14.55m) and De’bono Paraka (PNG – SB of 14.00m).
Samoan Olympic representative, Alexander Rose, looks to be well on track to winning yet another Oceania title. His best throw of the year has been 64.30m in Des Moines, Iowa. His best last year was 65.74m – and Olympic Qualifier.
If Mustafa Fall can find his 2016 form, in which he won the Melanesian Championships with a throw of 50.28m, he will be a strong contender for the silver medal. If not, then the Samoans Solialofi Oti (45.60m), and Donny Tuimaseve (44.77m) will be ready to pounce. PNG’s De’bono Paraka will be hoping that his PB of 50.21m and SB of 45.20m stand him in good stead. Not to be discounted is the Fiji #2 Setareki Matau who has a PB of 47.97m. It will be an excellent contest.
The Hammer Throw is just a two man event, but local fans will have the opportunity to see the Fiji NR Holder Abhinet Ram in action. Based in the USA, he has thrown 52.01m in 2017 and last year 54.49m. Up against him is PNG’s De’bono Paraka, a novice in this event, but one who has recently thrown 39.10m. He will be hoping to get over the 40m mark, and will appreciate the use of a proper throwing circle with cage.
Local hero, Leslie Copeland, who has competed in two Olympic Games and has won the Pacific Games gold for the Javelin in 2011 and 2015, has made very few appearances this year. He will find it hard to replicate his Melanesian Championship win (79.22m) with the quality of this year’s opposition. He did throw 77.79m in Townsville earlier this month, however, and is a superb competitor.
New Zealand’s Ben Langton Burnell has recently thrown the 800g Javelin 82.44m to now lead the New Zealand Rankings for 2017 and be #2 in Oceania. Fellow Kiwi, Alex Wood threw 68.86m in April and Australia’s John Crandell threw 67.92 in Sydney in February.
Others at the 60m level include Pita Tamani (FIJ) and Donny Tuimaseve (SAM). It is definitely game on – a high quality field.
The Decathlon has Max Attwell (NZL) as the favourite after his 6823 points in the Australian Nationals in April.
PNG’s Robson Yinambe won the gold medal in the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby with a score of 6288 points. This year, at college in the USA, he almost got his NR with a points total of 6284. Having a better PB than Robson is Australia’s Martin Clark – 6478 points – but only 5528 in the Australian National Championships. Another with a good PB (6254 points) is Matthew Wecker (AUS), who amassed 5695 points in the Australian Nationals in April. Tonga’s Soape Polutele scored 5777 in the 2015 Oceania Championship in Cairns. Current form will decide.
The outstanding U18 and U20 field event men are as follows –
- Cam Robinson (NZL) threw the 700g Javelin 65.42m in the U18 Division in March.
- Christopher Goodwin (NZL) jumped 7.10m in the U20 Long Jump, and 14.36 in the U20 Triple Jump.
- Raiarii Thompson (PYF) threw the 6.0kg shot 17.61m in New Zealand in March. Threw 17.68m in France last year. Huge favourite.
- Anthony Clark (AUS) threw the 5.0kg (U18) shot 16.20 this year. It is his PB.
- Lewis Thompson (AUS) – 15.54m in the Australian Nationals in the U18 Shot Put. Also 52.07m in the DT.
- Stephan Nel (AUS) 2.00m in the U18 High Jump.
- Brandon Stanaway (AUS) – 64.37m in the U20 Javelin.
- Tevita Senico (FIJ) – 2.00m in the U20 HJ
- Lachlan Caldwell (AUS) – 2.08m in the U20 HJ
- Alex Cerotti (AUS) – 2.00m in the U20 HJ
- Alex Willett (AUS) – 22m in the U20 Long Jump Australian Championships in April.
- Matt Walsh (NZL) – 14.17m in the U20 Triple Jump