Wisil makes it to Rio on merit

Fiji Sun - - Weather / Tv, Movie Guide - ANASILINI RATUVA Edited by Leone Cabenatabua Feed­back: anasilinir@fi­jisun.com.fj

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.”

Photo: Paulini Rat­u­lialai

Toea Wisil with coach Tony Fairweather at ANZ Sta­dium, Suva yes­ter­day.

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