The time is ticking!!
The 2nd of 3 mini pacific games trials for athletics begins today as Athletics Fiji look towards being at the top of Pacific Island Athletics once again. National Athletics coach and development officer, Albert Miller Snr, in an interview with Fiji Times after the 2017 Oceania Championships said that the focus of most athletes have now shifted towards the pacific mini games in Vanuatu in December.
Aaron Powell, Mustafa Fall, Errol Qaqa, Samuela Railoa, Elenoa Sailosi and Makereta Naulu were all in impressive form at the first ever competition for the 2017-2018 Athletics Fiji regular season three weeks ago and will be looking to solidify their place in the team in the next couple of weeks. Other athletes that were part of the under 20 Fiji Oceania team will be looking to book their spot on the team as well and will be facing fierce competition from other senior athletes and overseas based athletes as well.
Last weekend marked the first trials for the 2017 Mini SPG in Vanuatu and athletes braved the wet and cold Suva weather vying for a chance to book their spot on the Athletics team to the mini games in Vanuatu in December.
Aaron Powell, Samuela Railoa and Sailosi Tubuilagi are in impressive form and will be battling out for the coveted title of Fiji’s fastest male over the next two days where as Makereta Naulu, Elenoa Sailosi and Braelynn Yee, Laisani Moceisawana will be vying for Fiji’s fastest female.
Sigatoka Methodist College student Petero Veitaqomaki, running under the Trailblazers banner out ran Coke games champion and club teammate Kameli Sauduadua in the open men’s 800m in a time of 2mins 04.71s last week, he has posted the fastest 800m performance this year and will be looking to maintain that top spot and also book himself a spot on the team to Vanuatu.
Mustafa Fall won’t be facing any major threats in the shot put however he faces fierce competition from former Marist teammate Setareki Matau in the open men’s discus. New found triple jumper Belasio Waqadau won the open men’s triple jump in the first trials bounding out to 14.24m and will be facing stiff competition from Natabua teammate Kalaveti Mokisiro and triple jump national record holder Eugene Vollmer.
High school sensation and 2017 number 1 ranked Shawntell Lockington improved her season’s best to a 1.68m coming in 2cm short of Mereani White’s national record of 1.70m at last week’s competition and will be looking to either improve on her performance or at least keep her performance consistent.
Jetrunners club teammates Samuela Railoa and Avikash Lal have been showing impressive form. Railoa won the open men’s 400m and 200m in a time of 48.62s and 22.64s last week respectively making him the most consistent 400m runner recording more sub 49s 400m than any other 400m runner in Fiji for the past 2 years. Avikash on the other hand pushed his limits to run an impressive 9mins 08.30s in the 3000m that has earned him the 8th best 3000m runner all time in Fiji. Lone hurdler Errol Qaqa of the Laucala Club clocked a season best of 15.81s. Like Samuela Railoa, Elenani Tinai also dominated the women’s 400m and 200m in a time of 59.84s and 26.24s.
Athletics Fiji is hoping to see an improvement of performances for the next two days as well as an increase in athlete participation. Athletics Fiji competition for the Fiji Games begins today at 6:00pm with the heptathlon 100m hurdles, decathlon 110m hurdles, men and women’s hammer throw final and is expected to finish off with the 5k Men and women race walk.