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Curtain-raiser for the Cooks Games

Tuesday 12 October 2021 | Written by Supplied | Published in Athletics, Sports

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Curtain-raiser for the Cooks Games
Speedster Daniel Tolosa has qualified for New Zealand Secondary Schools competition and is now setting sights on Mark Sherwin’s 100 metres record. 21092054

The annual Athletics Championship starts this week with two twilight meets, tomorrow and on Thursday 5pm at the National Stadium in Nikao.

Registrations are open now and interested participants can register on the day of the competition at 4pm, says Athletics Cook Islands secretary (development) Ruth Tangiiau Mave.

There will seven events per evening and promises to be an exciting event for the up and coming youth athletes, aiming to qualify for the New Zealand Secondary School Competition to be held in Taranaki in December.

“This is the last chance for them to qualify and impress the selectors as it is the last competition for the season,” Mave said.

“It is also a good opportunity for those wanting to dust off their spikes and throwing arm to prepare towards the Cook Islands Games next year.”

Last year the Nationals was run in conjunction with the Cook Islands Games athletics portion of the games. The athletics event saw many of the medals that counted towards the final tally for each of the competing islands. The title eventually went to Mauke.

“As a prelude to the Cook Islands Games, athletes are encouraged to compete in their island shirts at this year’s Nationals,” Mave said.

“There won’t be an award for the winning island but it could be a good opportunity to scout for who you may want on your team for next year, or which island you want to compete for.”

The Nationals also provide a platform for top local athletes to set their personal best times and distances or aim to topple some national records.

There are some long standing national records open to be challenged like Mark Sherwin’s Men 100 metres time of 10.97 seconds which he set at Brisbane in 1993. Patty Teaea still holds the 100m time of 11.97s also set in Brisbane, 2017. 

“Mark was last seen on the track coaching schools for the Prince of Wales Primary Schools competition recently held, it remains to be seen if he will make an appearance under the Masters category this year,” Mave said.

“Patty showed good form in the officials’ relay against the youth teams at the Youth Competition in September and is always one to show up and run. 

“One of our long standing competitors, official, executive board member Erin Tierney-Quirke is still the Long Jump record holder for women with a jump of 5.37 metres, she will be on the track organising this year.”

A return of champion high jumpers Zarrion Heather-Rau for U16 and Nuku Makaroa U18 from the Youth Champs promises a great show with both of them qualifying for the New Zealand Secondary School Competition.

Speedster Daniel Tolosa has qualified for NZ and is now setting sights on Sherwin’s record. Emma Papailli has qualified for NZ and will be wanting to continue her training to reach Api Tapoki discus throw of 57.61m set in Auckland, 2006.

“Next year there are a few good competitions for the athletes to work towards, Mini Pacific Games to be held in June in the Northern Marianas and Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in July 2022 with our own Cook Islands Games in October.”

Masters age groups are encouraged to compete and highlight the longevity of the sport for all ages. Registrations can be sent in by email to: eventmanageraci@gmail.com.