New PNG National Records
Wala Gime and Sharon Kwarula both set new PNG National Records on Saturday at the Arkansas Spring Invitational track and field meet held at the University of Arkansas. Running his first 110m hurdles race of the season in perfect conditions, Gime clocked 14.81 seconds to eclipse the 40 year old record of Raki Leka who ran 14.84 seconds during the decathlon event at the 1971 South Pacific Games in Tahiti .This was the second oldest record in the PNG record books with only the 3000m steeplechase record of 9min 25 seconds set by the late, great John Kokinai pre dating Leka’s record. The closest any athlete has come to breaking that record was Sapolai Yao with his great effort of 9min 28 secs at the Victorian Championships in February 2006 in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games.
“Wala has clearly benefitted from a busy indoor season where he has fine tuned his hurdling technique with four races over 55metres and three races over the 60m distance, said a delighted Athletics PNG President Tony Green”. “Prior to going to the USA , Wala never ran well over this particular distance. His coaches have clearly done a great job “
Meanwhile Sharon Kwarula is also in great form , smashing Tahiri Homerang’s national record of 61.11 seconds for the 400m hurdles set at the 1991 South Pacific Games in Port Moresby. “Sharon showed last year at the Pacific Games that she was capable of running under 61 seconds said Green so her 60.99 clocking today is no surprise and she will surely run faster as the season progresses”
Kwarula is also homing in on Lillyanne Beining’s 100m hurdles record of 14.42 secs set at the Commonwealth Games in 1994. She improved her personal best in this event to 14.61 seconds.The meet at Arkansas was the second outdoor competition for the Iowa athletes and the season will continue until mid may when the Junior College National Championships will be held in Texas.