PNG Athletics Preparations for next year’s Cross Country World Championships and Pacific mini-games have been given a boost with the return to full-time training of Poro Gahekave and Messach Fred.
After 18 months of returning home to PNG since graduating from Lubbock Christian University, Gahekave has returned to the United States where she can fully concentrate on her training in an environment more conducive to athletic success.
With the US cross country season running from August to November, this gives the three-time 2019 Pacific Games gold medalist a great opportunity to get excellent preparation for the World Cross Country Championships in February 2022 in Bathurst, NSW.
Meanwhile, Pacific Games 1500m silver medalist Messach Fred has also returned to serious training after spending a year in Queensland looking for an educational opportunity, during which his training is passed into the background.
Messach moved to Oceania Athletics’ high performance training center in Gold Coast and joined the Gold Coast Run Co Club.
“Athletes usually come to the Center on a trial basis and we plan to formalize a longer term scholarship for Messach by mid-July,” said PNG Athletics Secretary Philip Rehder.
Messach said he really enjoyed the training which is quite varied.
He’s part of a team of about 40 runners and they go to different places and run on all kinds of terrain.
Oceania AA covers all costs, including accommodation, coach support, and living expenses, with Airlines PNG contributing financially from its budget for the World Cross Country Championships.
World Athletics is providing a two-year US $ 40,000 project grant for the PNG Athletics Distance Program for which the budget included the Kerowagi training camp, support for small group training in East New Britain (Utmei), some official training and overseas training support for a male athlete and a female athlete.