The Senior Women’s High Jump should be won comfortably by PNG’s Rellie Kaputin. Rellie won the 2015 Pacific Games contest with a height of 1.77m. This year she has jumped 1.70m or higher eight times. The next best on the ranking list is Fiji’s Rosalia Raqato who cleared 1.60m earlier this year. The rest of the jumpers have season’s best heights of 1.55m. Another Fiji jumper, Nanise Tavisa has jumped 1.60m or higher in the past.
The Pole Vault is returning to Fiji, and for that we must be extremely relieved. No many Island nations have working vaulting equipment and this means that the event has very few entries. The Australian, Jamie Scroop has a season’s best of 3.90m (and a PB of 4.30m).
In the Long Jump, the favourite again is Rellie Kaputin (PNG). Her most recent jump in May was 6.53m windy (+2.1) in Florida. With a 6.27m indoor mark to her credit, she seems to have the edge on Australia’s Jessie Harper, who jumped 6.19m in the Australian Nationals in April. Ashleigh Sando (NZL) has jumped 5.84m this year and Catherine Hannell (AUS) just 2cm less than that.
Special mention must be made of New Zealand’s Anna Grimaldi, who while she is competing in the Para event, will be jumping in the same pool of athletes with the other senior competitors. In the Rio Paralympics, Anna won the gold medal in her F47 category with a massive PB of 5.62m. One year later she is still at the top of her game and has recently jumped 5.58m. She was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year’s Honours’ List.
Once again Rellie Kaputin (PNG) tops the ranking list for the Triple Jump. She won the gold medal in Port Moresby in 2015 in the Pacific Games with 12.65m, and since then has continued to improve. In Florida, on her last jump of her US college season, she jumped a legal 13.28m to give her the #2 position in the Oceania Region for 2017 – so far.
Anna Thompson (NZL) jumped 12.40m in Sydney in March, and Allison Nankivell (AUS) has a mark of 12.26m to her credit from the Australian National Championships in April.
In the Shot Putt all eyes will be on the New Zealand phenomenon, Maddison-Lee Wesche, who will soon gain world renown. Still only U18, she has thrown the 4.0kg shot 15.62m in the Australian Championships. She has already competed at the World U18 and U20 Championships. Another U18 star in the making is New Caledonia’s Ashley Bologna. Ashley is ranked #1 in France for her age, and hopes to be selected to go to the World U18 Championships in Nairobi – representing France. She has thrown the shot 13.69m this year and is known to be in good current form.
Just to let the youngsters know that they do not have it their own way, Atamaama Tu’utafaiva (TGA – 13.84m), Patria Vaimaona (ASA – 13.19m), Tereapii Tapoki (COK – 12.58m) and Linda Selui (NCL – 12.22m) will be out to spoil their party.
The Discus, likewise, will be keenly contested. Pacific Island record holder – Terapii Tapoki (COK) is not at the 57.61m form of 11 years ago, but she is still in there throwing. Her latest effort was a 42.12m throw in the Kumete Games. Newcomer, Patria Vaimaona of American Samoa heads the rankings with 46.53m, followed by the New Caledonian duo of Atana Takosi and Falakika Fakate both being over 40m this season as is Australia’s Maddy Bergfield.
The Hammer Throw has attracted a relatively large field, with American Samoa’s Patria Vaimaona, with a season’s best of 51.79m looks to be the favourite. Coranne Truques (NCL) with a throw of 47.16m is comfortably in second place on the ranking, followed by Emma Werner (AUS – 44.12m), Mikayla Horan (RAT – 43.88m) and Dominique Holland (RAT – 41.76m). Dominique also throws the 3.0kg Hammer 53.39m.
The Pacific Islands’ Record Holder for the Javelin is 40-year-old Linda Selui from New Caledonia. Her throw of 57.32m at the 2011 Pacific Games, still stands significantly above the current crop of aspirants. This year she has thrown 45.65m and hopes for something closer to 48m on the day of the final.
Holly Robinson (NZL) competed at the Rio Paralympics. She is a F46 athlete who has thrown 42.68m this year. She was the NZL flag bearer at the Paralympics Opening Ceremony and won the silver medal in the Javelin. Sharon Toako (PNG) with a yearly best of 39.87m is capable of challenging for the silver medal.
The Heptathlon favourite is PNG’s Adrine Monagi, who won the gold medal in the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby. Her PB is 5221 points, set in March this year. The others with PB’s over 4000m points are Ariana Blackwood (NZL – 4204 points) and Vicky Clark (AUS – 4078 points).
In the U18 and U20 Divisions, there are many excellent athletes in action –
- Lesly-Telesia Filituulaga (NCL) who has swept to the top of the French Rankings Lists for her age in the Shot Put, Discus, Hammer and Javelin. A significant star of the future.
- Ashley Bologna (NCL) 16.90m for the 3.0kg shot in the U18 Division. Hopefully Nairobi bound following the Oceania Champs. Threw the Hammer 46.65m in the U18 Division.
- Stephanie Scigala (AUS) 43.10m in the U18 Discus and 15.09m in the U18 Shot Put.
- Siiva Tafiti (AUS) 15.21m in the U18 Shot Put
- Anthea Moody (AUS) & Cara Lonergan (NZL) both with 1.66m in the U18 High Jump.
- Annie McGuire (AUS- 5.90m) & Caitlan Blackman (AUS – 5.87m) in the U18 Long Jump.
- Tegan Duffy (NZL ) 5.71m in the U18 Long Jump.
- Camryn Newton-Smith (AUS) 5233 points in the U18 Heptathlon.
- Kasja Souter (AUS) 5031 points in the U18 Heptathlon.
- Demi Wynyard (AUS) 12.29m in the U18 Triple Jump.
- Stephanie Ratcliffe (AUS) has a pb of 59.87m in the U18 Hammer Throw.
- Brooke East (AUS) threw the 500g Javelin 45.69m in the U18 Division.