The athletes currently in training are Debona Paraka (discus/hammer throw, shot put), Adrine Monagi (2015 gold medalist), Daniel Baul (400m), Roland Hure (long jump), Lakona Gerega (javelin), Rellie Kaputin (relay), Peniel Richard (triple and long jump) and Ephraim Lerkin (hurdler 400m/800m).
The higher altitude training hosted in collaboration with the PNG Olympic Committee and the PNG national sports foundation had given the athletes the opportunity to use the facilities in one area.
Paraka stressed on the importance of dieting and how it can help the athletes.
Another athlete Peniel Richard said the higher altitude of training was very helpful for him as a jumper.
“I need a specific track to train on and the pit to work on my expertise but off course high altitude in early phases of my training at NSI was very helpful compared to overseas training,” Richard said.
“Compared to Texas, USA, we have hot days and cold nights there but the high altitude has been helping me to improve from my general condition,” he said.
Lerkin also said that the training up at NSI, higher altitude has helped us; the facilities and everything is there.
“We are all at one place and it has helped us to give confidence and motivate each other.”
Lerkin, who now takes up the 800metres apart from 400m breaking the fastest second record time in the national event in Kimbe and with the training; it has motivated him to aim for gold in the Pacific Games.
With the next Pacific Games in four months, the athletes have appealed to corporate sponsors and corporate organisations to help them with funds to support their diet for a proper nutrition.
“Nutrition is massively a basic part of being an athlete,” Paraka said.
“The type of food is organic and is typical, good vegetables but the problem is support to provide more food especially protein is what we will assist in tissue and muscle repair and for a proper diet.”
Athletics PNG president Tony Green said they have started their campaign early and now have a very strong team after a solid preparation; the athletes are now ready to perform.
“We are aiming to maintain our number one position in the Pacific islands, four years ago.
“The athletes won 22 gold which made up 25 percent of the gold medal total for team PNG.
“Our athletes made the whole country proud with their achievements,” Green said.
He acknowledged the support of National Sports Institute, PNG Olympic Committee and our corporate sponsors; PNG Air, Prima Smallgoods and Trukai Industries. post Courier