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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Isabel girl smashes Solomons national athletic record to go to Samoa games

By Ali Tepuke

A 14 year old girl from Isabel Province earns a place for Samoa after her stunning performance in the recent Solomon Islands National Athletics Championship last month.

Florence Tina from Guguha (pictured in middle), Isabel Province, broke two national records recording 19.30.70 minutes for the 5000 meters and 11.54.67 minutes for the 300 meters.

President of the SI National Athletics, Paul Kori, stated that she is just "pure raw talent, and a serious potential medal winner." Kori stated that despite her age and size he strongly believes, through his observation from past SPG watching other Pacific rivals, she has a 'competitive edge'.

Kori said that at the moment they are working very hard to improve her running style, which should see her conserve more energy. Kori said that the Athletics Federation will do all it can to facilitate her appropriate needs.

Kori said her training is also focused on the longer term, but already they are quite optimistic with what they see. "It takes 7 to 8 years to train female athletes in Solomon Islands to clock such times in the long distance events. Florence Tina did just that in her first appearance in the National Athletics Championship last month in Honiara," Kori said. "The exciting thing is the fact that she is only 14 years old."

Paul is almost certain that the Oceania Athletics Academy based in New Zealand will recruit her after the Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa.

Source: Solomon Times

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