Pacific Games update: Day 4 highlights

Tasi Limtiaco (Photo: FSM Swimming)

New Caledonia is leading the medal tally after the fourth day of competition at the Pacific Games in Solomon Islands.

New Caledonia took the lead after dominating the pool with eight gold medals, seven silver and eight bronze to date.

New Caledonia’s Lara Grangeon-De-Villele won two of their five gold medals of the day, with her first of the night and the first gold medal of swimming at Sol2023 coming in the women’s 400m freestyle

Grangeon-De-Villele said their team objective is to represent New Caledonia well and they are happy to be here at Sol2023 doing that.

 “The competition is hard, but it promotes us to be become the best and it is our objective to come here, represent New Caledonia and win this Pacific Games. Winning the gold medal is an objective that remains the same for us and it is a motivation that gives life to everyone to be the same,” she said.

There were some surprises as well.

Tasi Limtiaco from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) scooped the country’s first ever Pacific Games medal in swimming, winning gold in the men’s 200m breaststroke with a time of 2:23.98, almost two seconds ahead of the silver medallist, Alexandre Gane from New Caledonia (2:25.53). Roux Nael from Tahiti picked up bronze (2:29.10).

 Limtiaco, who was also making his Pacific Games debut, said that winning gold was his goal and he wants to elevate FSM in swimming.

Samoa’s Olivia Borg stunned the New Caledonians in the Women’s 100m butterfly, claiming gold with a time of 1:01.54 in her first Pacific Games

“This is my first Pacific Games so to come out of my first event with a gold is something to remember for a long time,” Borg told the Pacific Games News Service.

 “I came into the competition honestly to have fun, and winning the gold medal is beyond what I thought, which makes it even more worth it. It was also nice to have all the Samoans here from different sports who were supporting, I honestly love it because it’s nice to have your culture behind you supporting you and cheering you on.”

 Weightlifting heroes

Weightlifters also shone, with Solomon Islands flagbearer, Jenly Tegu Wini claiming three gold medals in the 55kg catefory and Papua New Guinea veteran, Dika Toua also netting three gold.

Toua’s sister Thelma claimed silver and bronze in the 49kg category.

“I am happy and it’s a big crowd, home crowd. I just went for what I have trained hard for,” Wini told the media outside the Marantha Hall, the venue for the weightlifting competition.

 “I am happy the Prime Minister (Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare) gave me the medals.

In other results:

  • Fiji’s men beat Samoa 2-1 in tennis, and will meet Guam in the semi-finals.In the women’s competition PNG sailed through to the semifinal in the team event after beating Tonga 2-1.
  • PNG women Pauline Hyun and Abigail Tere-Apisah were scheduled to meet the Solomon Islands last night after beating Tonga 2-1.
  • Fiji’s women’s volleyball team beat Samoa 3-1 while Tahiti beat PNG 3-0.
  • Fiji’s men’s volleyball team defeated Tuvalu 3-1.
  • In women’s basketball, Samoa edged out Fiji 75-74,  and Cook Islands 59 defeated PNG 37.
  • In the men’s basketball,  New Caledonia beat Tahiti in a close match, winning 53-50.
  • In football (soccer), Vanuatu beat Tuvalu 6-0 in the men’s division while PNG outscored Vanuatu 3-0 in the women’s competition.
  • In the first round of women’s rugby league, Cook Islands 36 defeated Solomon Islands 0, Tonga 16-Vanuatu 0, and Fiji 2 lost to Samoa 10.  Tonga defeated Fiji 10-8 in the second round to claim their second win of the day.
  • In men’s rugby league, Cook Islands 16 beat the Solomons 8 while Fiji dumped Tonga 20-0. Fiji lost to Samoa 18-12 in the second round.
  • In table tennis, Fiji women’s team beat Solomons 5-0.

Today’s competition includes more weightlifting, archery, swimming, tennis, volleyball.

Medal standings: