Papua New Guinea (PNG) runners looked sharp in the heats of the men’s 400m hurdles on the first day of the Sol2023 Pacific Games athletics events at Honiara’s National Stadium on Monday.
The fastest three qualifying times were all run by athletes from PNG.
In the first heat, PNG’s Daniel Baul (who won silver in this event at the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games) finished with a time of 53.23, more than 4 seconds ahead of the other four competitors.
In the second heat, Sialis Passingan and William Peka finished first and second with times of 55.23 and 55.58 respectively.
Speaking after their heat, Passingan and Peka told the Pacific Games News Service: “Despite having a very short time of preparation, we’re hoping to win this event”.
Looking ahead to the final on Friday 1 December, they added: “Since Mowen Boino (PNG’s former champion in this event) is no longer competing, it gives us the challenge to work hard and make our country proud again by winning the race”.
The other qualifiers for Friday’s final were Tahiti’s Pol-Elie Raoult, Solomon Islands’ George Tarai, Guam’s Jeofry Limtiaco and two athletes from Samoa – Hun Lemalu and Nainoa Thompson.
By Donaldson Saepioh and Jeffson Aghi, Pacific Games News Service