Southwestern Community College Track and Field athlete Theo Piniau has been selected to represent Papua New Guinea (PNG) at the World Relays, March 24-25, as a member of his nation's 4x200 m relay team. IAAF World Relays is the biggest sporting event to be held in The Bahamas and is under the aegis of the International Association of Athletics Federation. The 2014 IAAF World Relays will serve as a qualifying competition for the 2015 IAAF World Championships and will bring together 700 athletes and 300 team officials from 40 countries.
Piniau is a freshman on the Southwestern Community College track and field team. In his first season as a Spartan he set the school record in the 400 m for both indoor and outdoor track (49.00 and 47.39) and was also a qualifier for both the indoor (60m, 400m and 4x400m) and outdoor (400m, 4x100m and 4x400m) NJCAA National Track and Field Championships.
Piniau was very humbled to be selected to run on the 4x200 m relay team for PNG and had words of praise for the Southwestern track and field coaching staff. "I am very grateful and so fortunate to have gone through my first year of college at SWCC under the coaching of Bill Huntington, Mark Evans, and Jake Waddingham. I am now a better, faster and stronger athlete than before. And it is all thanks to Southwestern and the hard work I have put in."
When asked about Piniau's appointment to the team, Southwestern Head Track and Field Coach Bill Huntington remarked, "We are very excited for Theo. This is a great opportunity for him to compete on the world stage and show what he is capable of while representing his country and Southwestern. He has really bought into our training program and the progress he has made since his arrival at SWCC has been significant. He texted me saying to earn a spot on the World Relay team he competed in a head to head 300 m time trial with other sprinters from his country and he finished second to the individual who currently holds PNG's national record in the 400 m. He was very excited. We hope that his relay will perform well enough to qualify for the World Championships."
The PNG 4x200 m relay team will run in the prelims at the World Relays on May 24 in Nassau, Bahamas.