Girls having gym sessions. Photo: David Merick

The Merick sisters have what it takes to have a good finish in the Oceania Athletics Championships in Mackay and record their personal best in the 2022 Commonwealth Games on July 28 to August 8.

The Oceania Athletics Championships, which is the pinnacle event within the Oceania Area for Athletics, will see the best athletes head to Mackay from June 7-11.

The duo, Chloe and Claudie are currently training for their first international competitions in Fiji. Fiji has produced promising and competitive athletes that have dominated track and field in the Pacific.

To be trained under the watchful eyes of two experience Athletics and Strength and Conditioning coach Bola Tafou and Henry Elder is a blessing to the two sisters as they look forward to writing new chapters in their athletics career.

Coach Tafou has mentioned the two sisters are the future for Vanuatu Athletics currently they are running 13.2sec and most probably they will run 12sec in the Oceania Games and the Commonwealth Games.

The sisters will be entering these two major international competitions with a positive mindset and attitude considering their age debuting at the Commonwealth and Oceania Games with a ‘Nothing is Impossible’ attitude.

Elder sister Chloe believes the struggles and hard work over the years have paid off.

“I’m glad for this opportunity, all the struggles we went through in the past and we thank VA for this opportunity as this is the first time for us to participate in international competitions,” she said.

Younger sister Claudie echoed the same sentiment and said;” I’m happy and excited at the same time thank you to Vanuatu Athletics for this opportunity,” she added.

The sisters reminisce all the effort they have put in training last year which has finally materialised.

The duo hail from Mataso island.

Their very supportive father David Merick continuously guides his daughters through during their training sessions accompanying them to the gym, to the tracks and to pool sessions.

“I am quite impressed with the girl’s progress and developments during this preparation phase,” he said.

Currently, the coach had moved them from normal base training to the competition preparation phase with the other athletes.

For the girls to compete in every high-level athletics fortnight competition at the ANZ Stadium in Suva is a huge blessing which will inject more confidence to them.

According to Oceania Athletics The 2022 edition of the Championships aims to maximise and highlight athletes’ performances in a sustainable way.

The Championships will take a new and exciting format and will be the first Area Championships to be inclusive of all age groups and abilities.

The Senior, U20 and U18 Championships will take place in their traditional format, with the Area Championships in 2022 an important steppingstone for athletes wanting to compete at World Championships, both in Eugene (Senior) and Cali (Under 20) later in the year. For the Senior Champions, it would mean an automatic qualification to the World Championships in 2022, providing being selected by their Federation.

The introduction of an Under 16 competition, into the Area Championships, is seen as an exciting development for Oceania Athletics.

We wish the two sisters the very best in their preparation.

Till Next Saturday!

Yumi Wan!