Vanuatu beach volleyball champions Miller Pata and Sherysyn Toko received a tumultuous heroes’ welcome when they returned home from Birmingham on Saturday.
Families, friends and fans lined up Bauerfield International Airport with flags, and garlands to welcome and celebrate the duo’s bronze medal finish.
The players, wearing their bronze medals round their necks, were introduced to the ecstatic crowd as “the greatest beach volleyball players in the South Pacific Region’’.
Vanuatu duo Toko and Pata defeated New Zealand two sets to one. New Zealand started off strong in the first set to win 21-10 but the Vanuatu duo turned tables around in the second set lifted momentum and set an equaliser 22-20 before putting the pressure on New Zealand in the third set to win 15-10.
“ We know we have to come back strong in the second set and we fought strong.
“We just remained positive,” she said.
Toko could not hold back her emotions after winning her first Commonwealth Games medal.“I’m happy and also emotional since this is my first Commonwealth Games medal,” she said.