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Friday 16 September 2011 | Published in Regional


Entry fees for the Round Rarotonga Road Race will continue to help Cook Islands athletes gain overseas exposure and improve their track and field skills.

Once again this year, funds from the Round Rarotonga Road Race will allow six local students to take part in the New Zealand Secondary Schools Athletics Championships.

Young Cook Islands athletes have competed at the New Zealand tournament for some years now and the first three students confirmed to take part in this years annual athletics meet are no strangers to the event.

Daniel Tutai, Patricia Taea and Patrick Tuara are the first three to confirm their spot in the six member team with the remaining three athletes to be selected after the Mangaia Manea Games from October 3 to 13.

This years New Zealand Secondary Schools Athletics Championships will be held in Wellington on December 10 and 11.

It will be the third time Tutai of Aitutaki has attended the event.

The Tereora College student who turns 19 next month will compete in javelin and is the current under 18 national record holder with a throw of 60.33m set in 2009 at the Aitutaki Schools championships.

Tutai is also the national mens open javelin record holder with a throw of 57.18m which he set at the Pacific Mini Games in 2009.

Tutai, who is coached by Tereora College principal Teaea Parima, is looking forward to the gathering in December but more excited to compete at the Manea Games next month for his home island of Aitutaki.

Eighteen-year-old Taea has a great chance of winning a medal at the age grade competition after great 100m sprints in Korea and at the recent Pacific Games in Noumea.

In both events Taea ran fast enough to progress from the heats to the finals but didnt have the legs to win a medal.

In Korea two weeks before the Pacific Games Taea set a new personal best sprint time of 12.44 and in the womens 100m sprint finals in Noumea the young runner clocked 12.69 setting the 6th fastest time of the day.

Taea will be attending her fourth New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships meet where she will also throw in the javelin event.

Tuara is the third of the six member team to be confirmed to race in New Zealand at the end of the year and he will compete in the junior boys 100m sprints.

The remaining three team members will be selected after the Manea Games and are likely be from the outer islands.