SPORTS

Kiwi Best Ready For Copeland

New Zealand’s javelin rep Ben Langton-Burnell aims to make his mark against Fiji’s Leslie Copeland in the Oceania Area Athletics Championships which starts at the ANZ Stadium in Suva, today.
28 Jun 2017 11:20
Kiwi Best Ready For Copeland

New Zealand’s javelin rep Ben Langton-Burnell aims to make his mark against Fiji’s Leslie Copeland in the Oceania Area Athletics Championships which starts at the ANZ Stadium in Suva, today.

Brunell recently recorded 82:44metres which put him at the top of New Zealand’s ranking and number two in Oceania.

With the 2020 Olympic Games and World Championships in mind, the 24-year-old will be out to prove himself.

Athletics New Zealand high performance programme coach Debbie Strange said with top athletes competing at this year’s Oceania Championships, it will be a challenge their athletes are looking forward to.

“It is really great to compete against some of the best athletes around the Pacific,” Strange said.

“Athlete like Pacific sprint queen Toea Wisil is a great role model for the Oceania athletes,” Strange said.

“Running against her is a real special moment for them and then you got Fiji’s Lesley Copeland in javelin.

“My boys Langton-Burnell and Alex Wood are going to compete against Copeland and I think it will be a very good competition to watch.

“Copeland has done fantastic, he represented Fiji so well and we are looking forward to competing with him.”

Bringing in a total of 52 athletes for the competition, Strange said they are more focused on developing their young and upcoming athletes.

“We are coming out of a very cold winter, there is a lot of rain back home so we are very much enjoying the nice warm weather and the happiness of the Fijian people,” she said.

“In the Under-18 and Open grade we have a mixture of runners, throwers and jumpers. We want the athletes to have a successful competition, whatever success means to them and that they enjoy and behave like professionals.”

Meanwhile, Copeland, who has competed in two Olympic Games and won gold in the Pacific Games in 2011 and 2015 will find it difficult to replicate his 79:22m throw that he did at last year’s Melanesian Games.



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