[From Press Release 30 March 2016]
PNG’s most celebrated female athlete, Toea Wisil is training hard, focused and on track for the Rio Olympics.
After some personal challenges following her success at the Pacific Games, Wisil is well positioned to achieve big things in this Olympic Games year having set a PNG National record for the 200m in a blistering 23.43 seconds at the ACT State Championships in Canberra in February.
In October last year, she started working with Australian coaches Tony and Alison Fairweather, who have helped with her technique and speed endurance, while also offering personal support to help build a stress free, happy environment.
She is working towards meeting the Olympic qualifying time of 11.32 seconds for the 100 metre event (which would also be a PNG National Record) and isn’t far off after consistently coming in the 11.4 second range in recent events.
“Toea’s determination and commitment to continually improving herself and pushing herself is paying off,” says Alison Fairweather, Toea’s coach.
“She is working really hard in every training session and while there is frustration at times, this is often the case when you are trying to make changes to technique you have used for many years.
“But she is having more and more sessions and races with very positive aspects and is heading in the right direction,” she says.
Toea burst onto the international athletics stage after her efforts at the 2003 PNG Games where she impressed the then president Tony Green with her performance in the 400m sprint.
She has since been crowned Papua New Guinea’s Sports Woman of the Year in the SP Sports Awards in 2010 and 2011, was flag bearer at the 2012 London Olympics, as well as one of the ambassadors for the PNG Games in 2014.
Some of her more notable accomplishments have been winning five gold medals at the 2011 Pacific Games in New Caledonia, while just missing out on PNG’s first ever track and field medal by .04 of a second at the Commonwealth Games in 2010.
In April 2013 Wisil became the first ever Papua New Guinean to hold an Australian national track title when she claimed the 100 metres in Sydney. She achieved fantastic results at the Pacific Games 2015 – Gold in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 4x 400m and Silver in the 4x100m.
She is now looking towards the Olympic Games in August and is hoping to extend her ambassador support to a select handful of PNG businesses.