Northern Marianas Athletics general secretary Robin Sapong received the International Association of Athletics Federations Veteran Pin during the welcome dinner for the 52nd IAAF Congress at Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha last Tuesday.
Sapong was among the three Oceania Athletics Association officials who were presented with the prestigious award in recognition of their continued service and contribution to athletics. The three other awardees were Guam’s Josephine Pinto and Tahiti’s Daniel Vincente. Fiji’s Filimoni Vuli Waqa was also honored at the ceremony, as he received the IAAF Plaque of Merit.
The four OAA honorees received their award from IAAF president Lord Sebastian Coe of the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, Robin’s daughter, Zarinae, joined him in the Doha trip, as the latter will be representing the CNMI to the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships.
The sprinter will be racing in the qualifying heat for the 100m run at the Khalifa International Stadium this Saturday. The qualifiers will start at 4:30pm (11:30pm Saipan time).
The biennial event will run until Oct. 6 and will feature more than 3,000 athletes from 205-IAAF member countries.
In Zarinae’s event, the heavy favorites are Olympic champions and Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (2008 and 2012) and Elaine Thompson (2016). Three other athletes—Tori Bowie of the U.S., Dina Asher-Smith of Great Britain, and Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou—are also considered as medal contenders.