Papua New Guinea capped off their athletics gold medal haul with success in the prestigious men’s 4x100 metres relay final as Port Moresby 2015 track and field competition came to an end here today.
The host nation’s quartet, made up of Theo Piniau, Nelson Stone, Wesley Logorava and Kupun Wisil, snatched gold with a time of 40.62sec as Fiji’s team of Albert Miller, Vilisoni Roman Rarasea, Aaron Powell and Ratu Banuve Tabakaucoro had to settle for silver.
Wisil admitted it felt good to get the better of Fiji's Ratu Banuve Tabakaucoro, winner of the men’s 100m and 200m titles, in the final leg.
“I was running in front so I just told myself that the Fijian would not beat me,” he said.
New Caledonia took the bronze medal.
There was some disappointment for Papua New Guinea, despite winning four other gold medals earlier in the day, in the women’s 4x100m relay as Miriam Peni, Toea Wisil, Adrine Monagi and Sharon Kwarula fell 0.10 seconds short of Fiji’s winning time of 46.17.
Sisilia Seavula set Fiji on their way victory, followed by Makelesi Tumalevu, Elenoa Sailosi and Younis Bese against a team led by the Pacific’s 100m and 200m champion Wisil.
“Running against the Pacific sprint queen and her team, we knew it wouldn’t be easy because they would be out there to get gold,” said Seavula.
“But we thank God for his providence, and also without these three girls [her team-mates] the gold medal wouldn’t be possible.”
As in the men’s race, New Caledonia rounded off the podium.
The host’s first gold medal of the day came in the women’s long jump as Rellie Kaputin headed a Papua New Guinea clean sweep of the medals, breaking her own national record with a leap of 5.97 metres.
Adrine Monagi bagged silver with a jump of 5.76m, while Helen Philemon collected bronze, registering 5.64m.
“I broke my own national record of 5.59m and I’m happy,” said Kaputin, who is now looking ahead to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games after adding to her high jump and triple jump titles here.
“I know my coach, Philip Newton, is really happy with my results.”
There was also a double triumph for Papua New Guinea in the 400m hurdles as Donna Koniel won the women’s race with a Pacific Games record of 58.28 and Mowen Boino clinched the men’s in 52.51.
Koniel claimed her third gold medal of the Games and fourth overall at the expense of compatriot Sharon Kwarula and Fiji’s Ana Baleveicau, the silver and bronze medallists respectively.
Boino, meanwhile, led a Papua New Guinea one-two-three with Peniel Joshua 0.63 seconds behind in the silver medal position and Wala Gime third.
Papua New Guinea’s fourth gold medal came courtesy of Rama Kumilgo in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase, with a winning time of 11min 26.51sec.
Kumilgo was followed across the line by fellow countrywoman Poro Gahekave, while New Caledonia’s Heiata Brinkfield sneaked third and defending champion, Maria Beranadeta of Fiji, failed to finish.
Tahiti had the second highest gold medal tally of the day thanks to success in the men’s shot put and men’s long jump.
Tumatai Dauphin won the shot put with the a Pacific Games record of 19.14m.
Raihau Maiau came out on top in the latter with a long jump with a jump of 8.14m, a performance greatly assisted by a trailing wind of four metres per second.
Samoa's Alexander Rose and Fiji's Mustafa Fall completed the shot put podium.
New Caledonia’s Erin finished in second spot in the long jump with Papua New Guinea’s Idau Asigau rounding off the top three.
In the women’s shot put ambulatory, New Caledonia’s Rose Welepa posted 11.07m to beat Papua New Guinea's Regina Edward and Vero Paul Nime, silver and bronze medallists respectively.
The final athletics events of Port Moresby 2015 are the men’s and women’s half-marathons, which both due to start tomorrow at 6am local time.
July 2015: Papua New Guinea secure 4x400m relay double on another golden night of Pacific Games athletics
July 2015: Double clean sweep for host nation rounds off third night of Pacific Games athletics at Port Moresby 2015
July 2015: Wisil takes women's 100m title as hosts win six gold medals on day two of Pacific Games athletics
July 2015: Solomon Islands claim gold as two Pacific Games records broken on opening day of Port Moresby 2015 athletics