Papua New Guinea track and field athlete Rellie Kaputin is on the cusp of qualifying for the #Tokyo2020 Olympics.
Rellie, like many other Pacific athletes, has faced significant challenges in completing final training programs and critical qualifying events due to the impact of COVID-19.
Now, thanks to the support from the Australian Government’s #PacificAusSports program, Rellie has been able to train and compete in qualification events in Australia.
“Growing up I had this dream of representing Papua New Guinea at the Olympic Games in the sprints or in the jumps.”
“But now I have come into that standard of qualifying to go for my first Olympic games.”
“That would be amazing for me. That would make my family proud and everybody who is back home that is always behind me throughout my career.”
“When I broke my leg in 2019, there was a lot of people who thought I wouldn’t make it this time.”
“But coming this far, I have proven to them that anybody like me can make it this far to achieve anything they want in life.”
“So, I reckon a lot of people back home will be so inspired by my journey.”
“I would like to say thank you to PacificAus Sports and DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) for giving me this opportunity to continue training and qualify for my first Olympic Games in Tokyo.”
“I’d also like to say thank you to PNG Athletics and also PNG Olympic Committee for your great support.”
Through PacificAus Sports, the Australian government and the Australian Olympic Comittee will support over 170 Olympic and Paralympic athletes from eleven Pacific nations to prepare for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Specifically, the partnership will support an estimated 150 Olympic athletes from the Pacific Island nations of Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu to secure a spot on their respective Olympic Games’ teams.
An additional twenty Paralympic athletes will represent Vanuatu, Fiji, Solomon Islands, PNG, Kiribati, Samoa and Tonga at the Tokyo Paralympic Games.