SOL23: PNG hurdlers blitz men’s 400m final in style

It was red, black and gold all round as PNG won the trio of medals in the men’s 400m hurdles. Photos: Danzo Kakadi and Jimmy Tura, Pacific Games News Service.

Papua New Guinea (PNG) athletes stamped their dominance on the 400m men’s events by achieving another podium clean sweep in the men’s 400m hurdles at the Sol2023 Pacific Games on Friday afternoon at Honiara’s National Stadium.

Going into the final with the quickest qualifying times, Daniel Baul, William Peka and Sialis Passingan blitzed the field of eight runners in style. Baul was the quickest over the last hurdle crossing the line in 52.75 seconds. Peka followed closely behind him in 52.86 seconds and Passingan completed the hat trick in 54.37 seconds.

Speaking to the Pacific Games News Service a delighted Baul could barely contain his excitement about the win. “I got the motivation from my Mum to win this race. She texted me last night and said, ‘we don’t want to see you come second’, so I said ‘I’ll have to do this for you. Love you all’”.

Silver medallist Peka said: “I am so happy for this win. It means a lot to my country and my people. We thank everyone in our team and our supporters back home”.

Reflecting on PNG’s dominance in the 400m men’s events, Peka added: “We’ll work hard to continue the legacy PNG has had in the events and inspire a younger generation to join the sport”.

Passingan who got bronze said: “It’s a great feeling to come here and dominate the race. Attending the Pacific Games for the first time and to get a medal shows my efforts in training are not wasted”.

By Donaldson Saepioh and Huckle Negoa, Pacific Games News Service