Sapong shoots for new PBT


From left, Guam’s Regine Tugade, Nauru’s Dysard Dageago, Palau’s Gwynn Uehara, and the CNMI’s Zarinae Sapong pose for a group photo after arriving at the London Olympic Stadium for this year’s World Athletics Championships. (Contributed Photo)

Zarinae Sapong is hoping to improve her personal best time when she competes in the women’s 100-meter run on Saturday in the 16th International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships in London, United Kingdom.

Sapong will be running in one of the seven preliminary heats starting at 11:45am (8:45pm Saipan time) at the London Olympic Stadium at Marshgate Lane. The IAAF athletics championships will be from Aug. 4 to 13.

Sapong, the reigning Micronesian Athletics Championships sprint queen, left Saipan with her father and Northern Marianas Athletics secretary general Robin early this week. Improving her 13.35 seconds time in the 100m run when she won gold in the 2016 MAC.

She also won the 200m sprint gold with a MAC record of 27.87 seconds, while also anchoring the CNMI women’s 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams to bronze medals at Pohnpei State of the Federated States of Micronesia.

She also posted a time of 13.64 in the 100m sprint in this year’s Oceania Area Championship in Fiji and 28.47 in the 200m run.

Sapong’s times in the Pohnpei MAC was a huge improvement from the records she posted in the 2015 Oceania Athletics Association Area Championships in Cairns, Australia. She finished 13th in the 100m and 200m runs with times of 13.91 and 28.97 seconds each.

Sapong is using the Worlds as a preparation for this year’s Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu and the 2018 MAC, which will be hosted by Saipan in June.

All eyes will be on 2016 Rio Olympics champion Elaine Thompson of Jamaica, Tori Bowie of the United States, and the Netherlands’ Dafne Schippers with the three sprinters expected to breeze past their opponents to enter the finals.

Absent among the favorites is Jamaican and reigning Worlds sprint queen Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce as she skipped this year’s edition due to pregnancy.

Guam’s Regine Tugade (women’s 200m), Dysard Dageago of Nauru (men’s 100m), Gwynn Uehara of Palau (men’s 100m), and FSM’s James Fiti Scott (men’s 100m) are the other athletes from Micronesia.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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