Twenty seven national squad athletes from around the country will descend on Port Moresby this week for the first part of the PNG Air Grand Prix Series. The series will see the best athletes in the country competing head to head for the first time since the PNG Air National Championships last December.  Sponsored by PNG Air, the event will follow a similar format to the big international one day meetings where the best available athletes are invited to take part. The Grand Prix is an elite level competition aimed principally at those athletes vying for places in teams to international events next year. The programme also caters for those national athletes participating in events for which there are not many competitors and is also a talent ID exercise for those events. Whilst most of the running events are now closed for entries, there is still space for NCD based athletes in the jumps and throws as well as the 400m hurdles. Full details of the competition can be found on the athletics PNG Facebook page and website or by emailing png@mf.worldathletics.org.

Athletics PNG President Tony Green said that it was very important to keep the athletes motivated and  focussed in their training towards next year and the athletes have been really looking forward to this event. We had to defer the National Championships for reasons outside of our control he said and we are very grateful for the PNG Air support to meet this vital need for competition at this time.Strong competition is expected in the mens sprints with the NSI based trio of Paias Wisil, Jonathan Dende and Alphonse Igish ready to take on the Port Moresby based sprinters and with young Graham Bai from Kimbe also expected to feature strongly. The  mens and womens middle distance events are also expected to be very competitive with the Utmei based athletes primed to take on the highlands based athletes after positing some very good times in their inter house carnival last week. The competition will consist of three meets of just two hours duration, starting at 4pm Friday, continuing Saturday morning and then the last session on Monday morning.