Morobe athlete joins peers in US

Morobe athlete, Emmanuel Wanga, joined four other PNG athletes at Cloud County Community College in Kansas, USA, on Saturday 16 January.

The Finschhafen born 21-year-old first attracted attention in 2016 when he won gold in both the 100m and 400m at the Melanesian U18 Championships in Suva.

After graduating from the Lae Secondary School, he trained full time with the PNG athletics team in 2019 in preparation for the Pacific Games, where he was a member of the gold medal winning men’s 4*400m relay team.

During the lead up to the Games, he clocked a time of 47.85 seconds for the 400m at the Thailand Open and also competed at the World Relay Championships and the Oceania Championships in Townsville.

“The opportunity for Emmanuel to take up studies at Cloud was possible thanks to a combination of scholarship support from the school and assistance from the Morobe Provincial Administration,” said Athletics PNG President, Tony Green.

He thanked Provincial Administrator Bart Ipambonj and the advisor for community development, Nane Tomola, for their support.

Meanwhile, the Kansas-based athletes had their first competition of the season last weekend at a low key meet at Highland Community College, Kansas. It was the first taste of indoor competition for Shadrick Tansi, Isila Apkup and Leonie Beu; and all three delivered pleasing results.

Apkup clocked 7.22 seconds for the 55-metre dash and 26.13 seconds for the 200m, whilst Tansi clocked 6.57 and 23.14 secs respectively for the same events.

Coach Drew Mahin reported that the athletes were running on quite a small track (only 160m) hence times are not directly comparable with times run on a 400m track with much wider curves.

Leonie Beu ran a time of 1min 37.74 seconds for the 600m while Ephraim Lerkin is expected to join the athletes at their next competition in Topeka, Kansas, on January 23rd.

(From left: Leonie Beu, Isila Apkup, Ephraim Lerkin, Emmanuel Wanga and Shadrick Tansi)

Press release