Friday 7 March 2014 | Published in Regional
Sprinters Patricia Taea from the Cook Islands and Lovelite Detenamo from Nauru attended the last World Indoors in Turkey two years ago, before competing at the 2012 London Olympics.
The Executive Director of the Oceania Athletics Association, Yvonne Mullins says this year’s meet is a big opportunity, especially for the newcomers.
“It’s a long way from home. The weather’s a lot different from what it would be in their own federations, obviously, and for many of them it will be the first time they’ve ever had the opportunity to compete in an indoor arena,” says Mullis.
“It’s one that a lot of the best athletes in the world go to [and] for many of them the 100m runners they will head over there and they will do the 60m or, in the case of Sally Pearson, she’ll do the 60m hurdles and she will be up against Sharon Kwarula from Papua New Guinea, who has been competing very well in the US circuit this year.
“It will be a good hit-out for all of our athletes before they head off to our Oceania Championships in the Cook Islands in June this year.”
For many of the regional athletes, including Cooks athlete Patricia Taea, they competed at the Mini Games in Wallis and Futuna last year which, for a couple of them, was their best and their first hit-out.
Mullins is expecting personal best times set by her regional team of athletes.
“I think we’d all be looking for some personal bests, obviously, but most of all we try and look for national records so we can see that there’s a whole lot of development going on in their federations,” says Mullins.
“The girls from Nauru and the Cook Islands have lowered their national records over and over, over the last 12 months so we will be looking for some good performances from them,” says Mullins.
“We think all in all national records and personal bests – I’m not convinced we’re going to get anybody through to the finals but, of course, we will be hoping our golden girls, Sally Pearson and Valerie Adams, will do that for the Oceania region.”