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Sprinters aim for personal best

GET SET, READY, GO!………… From left: Kevin Pio, Claytus Taqimana and Alfred Ilisia pulling off together in a training drill on Tuesday afternoon at the KGVI running track. The sprinters are currently preparing for the upcoming Oceania Championship scheduled to be held in Fiji later this month. PICTURE: BENZ NEWMAN

SPRINTERS who will represent the country at the upcoming Oceania Area Championship have vowed to improve their timing at the event.

A total of five sprinters, four male and one female were named among the total of 16 athletes who were finalised to take part in the regional event.

The sprinters are Claytus Taqimana, Kevin Pio, Paul Maunukeni, Alfred Ilisia and Elizabeth Gani.

“Looking at the past weeks training, I think I’m ready for the championship. Most importantly, I will work on improving my timing at the Games,” Taqimana, who will compete in the senior men’s 100m and 200m said.

Taqimana’s current personal best was clocked at 11.4s.

“I train everyday and the aim is to go below than that. I aim to clock 10 seconds in the Oceania Championship,” he added.

Another sprinter, Ilisia indicated the same thing.

“Like everyone else, our aim is to clock better timing and win. That’s what we are aiming for in the competition,” he said.

The Oceania Area championship will be held at ANZ Stadium in Suva, Fiji from June 28 to July 1.

Solomon Islands head coach and former national sprinter Francis Manioru said their participation at the Oceania championship is all about grooming his athletes for the Pacific Mini Games in December.

“Our team is made up of mostly young athletes with very little experience.

“The championship will be a good test for them to see what the level is like on the regional level.

“Most of the athletes will go in basically to improve their personal best,” Manioru said.

“We have the national championship coming up this weekend and it is timely ahead of the Oceania Championship.

“Coaches will use that to polish up few areas that are needed to work on before going into the Oceania championship.

“The Oceania Area Championship is very important because almost all Pacific Island countries are competing and will be competitive.

“It is the only time where we (coaches) will see where our athletes are against the best of Oceania and work from there before the mini games come December,” Manioru added.

The athletics squad is currently training at the King George Sixth School running track.