By James Cowling, Games News Service
PORT MORESBY, July 12 – Fijian track star Ratu Tabakaucoro will be looking to defend his 100m and 200m titles from Noumea 2011 when the athletics events get underway at the Port Moresby 2015 Pacific Games on Monday July 13.
Tabakaucoro is on track for repeat having set a Fijian national record of 10.22sec at the 2015 Oceania Championship in Cairns in May.
The 22-year-old sprinter will be hoping for a Pacific Games record too. His countryman Jone Delai currently holds the mark of 10.34sec, which he set twenty years ago at Papeete 1995.
Tabakaucoro was also part of the gold medal winning men’s 4×100 relay team four years ago.
Adrien Kela from New Caledonia is also back to defend his titles in the 800m and 1500m, as is countryman Nordine Benfodda in the 5000m and 10000m.
In women’s athletics, Papua New Guinea will be vying for a repeat of its success at Noumea 2011. PNG is the defending champion in nine events – the 100m hurdles, 200m, 400m, 400m hurdles, 800m, 1500m, 4x100m relay, 4x400m relay and triple jump.
Twenty-seven-year-old Toea Wisil (PNG) will be eager for another golden haul in defending the 200m and 400m sprints as well as seeking to repeat both relay victories.
Sharon Kwarula (PNG), the defending champion in the 100m hurdles and a gold medallist in two relay races at Noumea 2011, is slated to compete in six events in Port Moresby.
Overall though, New Caledonia won the most medals in 2011 due to its dominance in men’s event. The host nation won 50 medals all up, 18 of them gold and 13 of those in men’s competition. PNG was second in the 2011 medal tally with 15 gold and 32 medals in total.
Athletics will take place at BSP Stadium in Port Moresby.
For information about athletics tickets call the Pacific Games ticket hotline on 180 2015 or download the ticket purchasing guide.