Three athletes from Papua New Guinea on a podim

PNG enjoys clean sweep in men’s 400m final

Papua New Guinea’s trio of Benjamin Aliel, Daniel Baul and Emmanuel Wanga won all the medals available in the men’s 400 metre final at the Sol2023 Pacific Games on Wednesday night.

On a cool evening at the National Stadium, the three Papua New Guineans wrote another chapter in the history of their nation dominating this event when they stormed the finish line in style, claiming all three available medals.

Just four hundredths of a second separated gold medallist Aliel (47.17 seconds) and silver medallist Baul (47.21 seconds), while Wanga settled for third in 48.43 seconds against the backdrop of a rapturous, cheering crowd.

There were scenes of joy after the race in which an ecstatic pair of Aliel and Wanga could hardly express their delight when asked by the media.

“First of all, we want to thank God for this opportunity in representing our country. We are so proud to come out and give our best. We say thank you to our families back home and our coaches who gave us the opportunity,” an exhausted Wanga said between breaths.

A proud Aliel added: “It has been a long time (coming). I left the sport for two years and it’s my first time to come back again after 2019. This is my first international race again and I’m proud of my mates for pushing me in training”.

Based on this performance, PNG will be hoping for more gold in the men’s 4x 400m relay on Thursday.

By Donaldson Saepioh, Pacific Games News Service

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