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Papua New Guinea Long Jumper Rellie Kaputin has qualified for the #Tokyo2020 Olympics.

World Athletics awarded Kaputin the Papua New Guinea universality place on the plane to Tokyo 2020 after she recorded a season’s best jump of 6.42m last weekend in Townsville.

Speaking earlier this month from her training base in Australia, Rellie, like many other Pacific athletes, faced significant challenges in completing final training programs and critical qualifying events due to the impact of COVID-19.

“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.”

Thanks to the support from the Australian Government’s #PacificAusSports program, Rellie has been able to train and compete in qualification events in Australia.

“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.”

Through PacificAus Sports, the Australian government and the Australian Olympic Committee 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.

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