Golden girl Toea Wisil sparkles at Port Moresby 2015 athletics

Toea Wisil thrilled the crowd at BSP Stadium with a gold medal-winning performance in the women's 100m. Photo by Susie Pini.

Toea Wisil thrilled the crowd at BSP Stadium with a gold medal-winning performance in the women’s 100m. Photo by Susie Pini.

By Joanna Lester, Games News Service

PORT MORESBY, July 14 – Toea Wisil (PNG) thrilled a packed BSP Stadium with her gold medal-winning performance in the women’s 100m to round off an exciting day of athletics at the Port Moresby 2015 Pacific Games.

Wisil ran 11.86 seconds, comfortably ahead of Fijians Younis Bese and Sisilia Seavula, who claimed silver and bronze respectively.

“I’m really happy about my performance in front of my Papua New Guinean people,” Wisil said. “Thank you to all my mothers and aunties back in Jiwaka Province and to my family who came all the way from there to watch me race.”

“Tomorrow will be a challenging day for me, racing two fellow PNG athletes in the 200m final. I don’t feel pressure, more so excitement after tonight.”

In the men’s 100m Ratu Tabakaucoro (FIJ) defended his Pacific Games title, winning comfortably in 10.55 seconds.

Palau’s Rodman Teltull was delighted with his silver medal finish, while Kupun Wisil (PNG) claimed bronze.

“First and foremost I would like to thank the lord almighty for giving me strength,” Tabakaucoro said. Second of all my parents for supporting me for all these years. I’d also like to thank my coach and all my supporters back home, and not forgetting the PNG crowd here tonight – they are big fans of me.”

Kaminiel Matlaun (PNG) won the men’s 800m by two hundredths of a second in a photo finish that left the sell-out crowd at BSP Stadium on tenterhooks waiting for the official results.

Matlaun finished in 1 minute 53.85 seconds, closely followed by Adrien Kela (NCL). Martin Orovo (PNG) claimed bronze.

“I dedicate my win to Team PNG and Papua New Guinea as a whole,” Matlaun said. “I’ve been training for six months in Goroka and I was well prepared to come here and race.”

The hosts also dominated the women’s 800m with Donna Koniel (PNG) snatching gold in 2 minutes 12.78 seconds and Jenny Albert (PNG) finishing three seconds behind her.

Solenne Kerleguer (NCL) claimed bronze. Koniel was too overcome with emotion to address the stadium crowd or the media after her win.

Robson Yinambe (PNG) won the men’s decathlon while Lilian Garcon (NCL) claimed silver and Soape Polutele (TGA) won bronze.

Francis Kompaon (PNG) finished first in the men’s 100m standing but won silver after the results were adjusted for degrees of disability.

Sylvain Bova (NCL) won gold and Samuel Nason (PNG) claimed bronze.

One of the highlights of the night was the men’s 10000m, which Rosefelo Siosi (SOL) won in 33 minutes 6.03 seconds, comfortably ahead of silver medallist Nordine Benfodda (NCL) and bronze medallist Kupsy Bisamo (PNG).

“I don’t know how to express how happy I am,” Siosi said.

“This is my dream. When I started to run I was aiming for the 2015 Pacific Games – I wanted to be a gold medallist.”

“It has been six years hard preparation. It’s not easy to get a gold medal. I’d like to encourage all our young athletes in the Pacific to train and pray.”

After the race Siosi approached silver medallist and Pacific long distance specialist Benfodda to express his appreciation and respect for him.

“The student has overtaken the master,” Benfodda replied with a smile.

By Joanna Lester, Games News Service

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