In a day with a great variety of competition - Open Division, U18 Division, Masters, Athletes With a Disability and Children’s Exhibition Events - the highlights were many and varied. Six Championship Records were broken.
The highlight of the day was the return to form of the current Pacific Games Champion and holder of the Pacific Best Performance in the 200m - Banuve Tabakaucoro from Fiji.
Banuve won the 200m by a huge margin and broke the Oceania Championship Record, held by Nelson Stone (PNG), by 1/100th of a second. His time was 21.08. Nelson was a very distant second in 21.98. One wonders how fast Banuve would be at this stage of his career if he had not decided to have a year away from the sport. If he is chosen to go to the World Championships we look forward to seeing if he can finally break the 21 second barrier. We also look forward to seeing what he can do in the 100m as well.
The Open Women’s 200m saw the expected win for Toea Wisil (PNG) in 24.45 seconds, but second place getter, Louise Jones (NZL) was closing fast at the end.
The Open Men’s and the Open Women’s 10000m races were held together, and the winners were pretty much as expected. Elodie Mevel, won the Tahitian battle, defeating team-mate Sophie Gardon – 41:04.47 to 41:13.85 - to set up an interesting battle in the Mini Games in September. Elodie’s time was a new Oceania Championship Record.
The Men’s 10000m was won by Josh Maisey (NZL), in 32:31.31 (Oceania Championship Record), from Northern Australia’s Anthony Craig with 33:35.39. In third place was Sapolai Yao, who only arrived in the country late last night after a long flight from Los Angeles. His time was a creditable 33:44.20. Surprise entrant was Rosfelo Siosi (SOL) who earlier in the evening had won the U18 3000m. The stamina of the young !!
It was a night for comebacks. Tereapii Tapoki (Cook Islands) convincingly won the Open Women’s Shot Put with a throw of 14.17m. This is more than a metre further than she threw in the 2011 Pacific Games.
Australian Decathlete, Cedric Dubler (a scholarship holder from the RDC – Gold Coast) was a big winner in the Open Men’s Pole Vault with a height of 4.50m. He has a few more events to contest, and we could see him on the podium yet again.
Oceania Championship Record Holder, Alexander Rose (SAM), was a big winner in the Open Men’s Discus, but he missed breaking his own record by only 24cms. His winning distance was 56.05m.
The Open Men’s 400m Final looks to be close with all six who broke 50 seconds going through. David Benjamin (VAN) was the fastest qualifier with a time of 49.15 seconds.
Three other records were set today -
· Luisa Sekona (AUS) in the U18 Girls Shot Put - 14.88m
· Emilie Falelavaki (WF) in the U18 Girls Javelin Throw – 46.50m
· Luca Denee (NZL) in the U18 Boys Pole Vault – 4.70m.
The competition continues tomorrow with a wide range of events in many different categories. Expect more records to fall.