Men on a medal podium

PNG complete relay clean sweep with victory in men’s 4x100m

The Papua New Guinea (PNG) men’s relay team emerged victorious at the Sol2023 Pacific Games 4x100m relay at Honiara’s National Stadium on Friday, securing their status as the new champions of the region.

Fiji posed a formidable challenge as the winners of this event at the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games, but PNG have ruled the relays at Sol2023 and in this final event of the athletics competition, had no intention of letting a gold medal slip.

Fiji sprinted ahead in the first 300 metres, showcasing explosive speed and dominance. However, in an incredible swell of athleticism, PNG gushed in the final 100 metres, leaving rivals behind. The stadium erupted as PNG’s team of Pais Wisil, Daniel Baul, Emmanuel Anis and Emmanual Wanga crossed the finish line in 40.59 seconds, just shy of the Pacific Games record (40.15) set by Fiji in 1997.

Fiji’s team of Ratu Penaia Ramasirai, Waisake Tewa, Emosi Laqere and Joshua Daudravuni finished with a time of 40.97 for silver, while Vanuatu’s team of Toho Josuah, Tickie Terry Mael, Kieron Kapea Meake and Obediah Timbaci claimed bronze in 42.05.

PNG’s ecstatic team said after the race: “We are grateful for the win. We haven’t seen the time yet but hopefully it’s close to our national record which was our target coming here”.

Ask about the fact that it was Fiji who was leading in the first 300 meters, they said: “We encouraged ourselves before the race, ‘just stick to the plan, don’t panic, get the baton exchanged, and the win will come by itself’ and that’s what exactly happened”.

The result meant PNG won all four track relays at Sol2023 – the 4x400m and 4x100m for both men and women.

By Peter Psalm, Pacific Games News Service

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