Pacific Mini Games Update

Beach Volleyball action - Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022
PHOTO: Beach Volleyball action - Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022

The action continues at the 2022 Pacific Mini Games as athletes and competitors come together to compete under the clear Northern Marianas skies.

The game’s organisers have strongly urged participants to maintain their integrity while competing in their respective events – pointing out against the use of performance enhancing drugs should not be an option for the athletes.

Wisil and Topal continue their gold-winning ways

Toea Wisil captured another gold at the Games as she steered Papua New Guinea to women’s 4×100 metres relay success in Saipan.

After winning the women’s 100 m title on Tuesday, the 34-year-old sprinter teamed up with Adrine Monagi, Isila Apkup and Leonie Beu to claim relay gold in a time of 45.85 secs.

In the field events, Annie Topal backed up her women’s long-jump title by winning the triple-jump with a commanding distance of 12.73 metres.

However, she was denied a third gold medal by New Caledonia’s Loan Ville in the 400m women’s hurdles.

Fiji claimed the men’s 4x100m relay taking gold in 41.17 while Samoa and PNG took second and third place respectively.

There was also success for Fiji in the men’s high jump with Malakai Kaiwalu claiming top honours with a jump of 2 metres.

Overall, athletics has been a strong suite for Papua New Guinea as they achieved more gold medals later on the day, to add to their impressive haul on the leader board. .

‘Atamaama Tu’utafaiva wins gold in women’s shot put

Tonga has won one gold medal and one bronze at the Pacific Mini Games 2022 , with ‘Atamaama Tu’utafaiva coming out on top in the shot put event.

This was no surprise for the Tongan powerhouse as she had already won the gold medal in the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa.

Team Tonga has 12 athletes competing at the Mini Games. T

Strong outing on the weightlifting mats.

CNMI weightlifters Angel San Nicolas and Leonardo Apelo won a total of two gold and four silver medals in their respective weight classes in the 2022 Pacific Mini Games this week.

In the men’s 96kg event, San Nicolas collected two gold medals and one silver.

Although coming in second place in the 89kg weight class, Leonardo Apelo was still grateful for he was able to achieve.

“I’m proud of it; I worked hard for it. I’m dedicating this to my wife and kids,” Apelo said.

Crossing over to the women’s category, Fiji’s Apolonia Vaivai has marked her return to the sport by winning Team Fiji’s first gold medal at the Pacific Mini Games in Saipan, Northern Marianas.

Vaivai returned to weightlifting last year, after a break of four years.

Vaivai won gold in the women’s 76kg snatch competition.

Former teammate Eileen Cikamatana won three gold medals in the women’s 87kg category for Australia.

The 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist lifted 110kg in the snatch and then managed 140kg in the clean and jerk for a total lift of 250kg.

Surely some exciting times ahead for young Cikamatana.

Tahiti claims Badminton gold

Tahiti and New Caledonia have both been in phenomenal form in the badmington competition, and it came down to the two top seeds of the tournament to battle it out for the gold medal.

Young 16 year old Jenica Lesourd was instrumental in assisting Tahiti’s successful campaign. And again in the final, Jenica showed her class to guarantee the gold medal victory for Tahiti over Pacific-Games veteran Johanna Kou.

Overwhelmed after the match Lesourd said, “I am happy with my performance, I tried to make sure I kept control of the net. My main goal is to keep progressing in badminton.”

In the men’s games, Quentin Bernaix was also influential for Tahiti and seized the opportunity to cement the victory by scoring 18-21 21-19 21-18 against Carl N’ Guela. This was a decisive victory as it inspired the women’s and men’s doubles in an impressive 5-0 victory over the top seeds.

“It’s a very special moment to bring the gold medal in for Tahiti. The whole team is very happy with the results,” says Quentin Bernaix.

Volleyball at the Crowne Plaza Resort beach

In beach volleyball, Wallis & Futuna outlasted the CNMI in a female beach volleyball match on Wednesday.

Wallis & Futuna’s Tekela Fiafialoto and Gladys Pressense won the first set and seized the lead early in the second.

But the CNMI’s Charnesa Lizama and Kathleen Winkfield repeatedly kept the gap close, with powerful serves and over the net attacks.

Winkfield’s spike narrowed the lead, 15-17, while Lizama further reduced it, 16-17, before equalizing the score with a spike, 17-17.

But Fiafialoto and Pressense regained their lead when Winkfield’s overarm serve went out of bounds.

Fiafialoto widened the gap with two consecutive attacks, 20-17, but an out-of-bound serve allowed the NMI to gain a point.

Fiafialoto’s spike, however, ended the set and the match with a victory for Wallis & Futuna, 21-18.

Palau continue to impress at the dug-out

The island nation of Palau notched its third consecutive baseball win in the 2022 Pacific Mini Games by thumping Fiji, 13-3, on Tuesday night at the Francisco “Tan Ko” M. Palacios Baseball Field.

The 2007 Pacific Games baseball gold medallists started strong by pounding Fiji with base hits for a 5-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Palau scored four more runs while blanking Fiji in the second inning.

Palau’s first baseman Ray Rumong, designated hitter Spis Yamaguchi, catcher Raynold Sadang, third baseman Reese Ramarui and center fielder Jeremy Guillermin drove in runs to expand their team’s lead.

For their part, Palau’s right fielder Pipen Mitsur scored three runs while second baseman Oleary Ise had two runs.

Palau’s pitcher A. Towai showed his lethal potential and had two strike outs.

For Fiji, catcher Tavo Sorovakatini had one RBI (Runs Batted In), short stop Lemeki Biaudamu scored two runs while Ulaiasi Meo had one run.

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