The Oceania team is managed by Erin Quirke, Harmon Harmon and Thomas Henderson, all of whom have international experience as athletes themselves. The youth athletes are in fine form soaking up all the experiences on offer.
It is a real benefit to the younger athletes to interact with senior athletes Alex Beddoes and Apii Tapoki. Beddoes and Tapoki are also enjoying the vibe of a larger team.
A big challenge for the youth athletes is managing their mental focus and nerves during the formal call room pre event procedures. Weather is perfect for competition with similar temperatures to home. The team were extremely pleased to complete day one with good results and valuable learning experiences.
Alex Beddoes was very impressive racing in heat one of the 800 metres on day one.
Beddoes easily qualified for the 800m final this Thursday. These two races are an important build up for Beddoes who competes in the 800m and 1500m in Samoa Pacific Games next month.
Kaia Dearlove debuted in her first international high jump competition finishing in fourth place in the U18 High Jump Final. Dearlove successfully executed her jump plan and thrived in the big competition environment.
However, she said she was disappointed to fall short of her personal best but she is excited to return home and get back into training.
“It’s been a great learning experience, it’s been a lot of fun getting to know the athletes in the team and outside of the team. It’s given me a better idea of how competition works and what I need to do to prepare for the next one.”
Elijah Poila in javelin U18 and Apii Tapoki open shotput finished fifth and seventh, respectively.
Estelle Short, the 100/200m sprinter, said she was finding the Oceania Champs very different to other competitions she had been in.
After Oceania Champs, the senior athletes Beddoes and Tapoki with addition of Tikove Piira will go on to compete at the Pacific Games.
The youth athletes will train towards selection for the New Zealand Secondary School Championships in December.
A big event in that build up is the National Youth Championships in Rarotonga on September 6.
The Oceania Championships are streamed live on from 5pm daily (Cook Island time).
-- Athletics Cook Islands