Wisil makes it to Rio on merit
I lost my dad and brother in the same month but I thank God for the talent and for helping me achieve my dreams. Toea Wisil Pacific sprint queen
Papua New Guinea sprint queen Toea Wisil is the first Pacific Islands female track and field athlete to qualify on merit to next month’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In the 100m Open Women’s final at the ANZ Stadium in Suva on Friday night, she clocked 11.29 secondsunder 1.9 wind assistance. That qualifies her to the Olympics as the qualifying time is 11.32s.
The 28-year-old spoke of the challenges she faced while building-up her preparation for the Olympics. “I lost my dad and brother in the same month but I thank God for the talent and for helping me achieve my dreams,” Wisil said. “I never give up on my dreams; this is my passion and my life. I have been participating in athletics for twelve years now. This is a big moment for me, my coach and family. They have been behind me and I’m so proud of them.” Being the first Pacific woman to qualify on merit for the Olympic Games has made Wisil proud.
“I can’t believe this is happening this afternoon, I train hard and all my dedication has paid off and I’m happy. I thank God for everything he has done for me right to the last minute.” Wisil has urged young women in the Pacific not to give up on their dreams. “When you have a dream don’t give up, you work hard to achieve your dream. Nothing is free in life,” Wisil added. Her coach Tony Fairweather said Wisil would now skip the preliminary rounds in the Olympics which would make things easier for her. “She was already selected for PNG but it is good for her to come here and do her qualifier. This means that she is going to stop her from going to that preliminary rounds, she’s not going to take that risk of qualifying again when she gets there. That’s the beauty of that. We had a really long summer, we have done a lot of racing, and we knew that if we get the right condition then we will get the result.”
Toea Wisil with coach Tony Fairweather at ANZ Stadium, Suva yesterday.