Sapong completes first race in Samoa

CNMI’s Zarinae Sapong is introduced at the starting line during the qualifying run for the 100m race in the XVI Pacific Games yesterday at the Apia Park Stadium. (Lydia Tan)

Sprinter Zarinae Sapong competed in the 100m qualifying race in the XVI Pacific Games yesterday at the Apia Park Stadium’s track oval and finished ahead of seven runners.

Sapong was on Heat 2 of the qualifier and timed in at 13.02 seconds, just a few seconds shy of her personal best (12.97 seconds). She was fifth on her heat and No. 12 overall, posting a better time against Guam’s Richelle Tugade (13.13 seconds), the Solomon Islands’ Jovita Arunia (13.37), Samoa’s Taufagalupe Hunt (13.41), the Federated States of Micronesia’s Darla Jonah (13.60), Kiribati’s Ruta Tooma (13.74), and Samoa’s Mileta Tino (13.81) and Danielle Tanielu (13.87).

Papua New Guinea’s Toea Wisil recorded the fastest qualifying time with her 11.50 seconds and was joined in the gold medal race by compatriots Adrine Monagi (12.28) and Leonie Beu (11.95), Tonga’s Taina Halasima (12.08), Fiji’s Younis Bese (12.21) and Heleina Young (11.97), New Caledonia’s Esther Wejieme (12.07), and Guam’s Regine Tugade (12.00). The gold medal race was scheduled yesterday evening and results were unavailable at press time.

With Sapong done with the 100m run, she has only one event left and will be racing in the 200m qualifying heat tomorrow. There are 19 runners entered in the 200m event, including Wisil, the oldest in the field at 31 years old, and is also the favorite.

In the men’s 200m qualifying runs, the CNMI’s Beo Ngirchongor and Traven Quitugua will be battling 29 other runners for the semis slots (16). The semis and finals runs will take place tomorrow.

Also set for Thursday is the javelin where Lia Rangamar will be representing the Commonwealth.

Meanwhile, the athletics competition will conclude this Saturday with Tania Tan closing out for the CNMI, as she races in the half marathon. Tan will be going up against the Solomon Islands’ Dianah Matekali and Sharon Firisua, Vanuatu’s Margaret Kuras, and PNG’s Poro Gahekave. Gahekave and Matekali won the gold and bronze, respectively, in the 5,000m run last Monday.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.
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