Women athletes have won all medals for Vanuatu at the Pacific Games in Solomon Islands so far.

Prescilla Tommy, Anolyn Lulu,Stephanie Qwea and Tracy Mawa from Table Tennis, Ajah Pritchard Lolo from Weightlifting,Veronica Tari, Priscilla Monthuel and Anna Bumseng from Judo have returned home with 2 gold, 3 silver and 5 bronze yesterday.

These eight women have proven that not only men have a passion for sport, as they outnumbered men on the medal count.

Secretary General (SG) of the Vanuatu Association of Sport And National Olympic Committee (VASANOC), Cyrille Mainguy, proudly presented the medalists to the Minister of Sports Tomker Netvunei and the public at the airport following their arrival from the games yesterday.

Double gold awardee Tommy, one gained from the singles event beating a strong Tahitian opponent to a 4-0 win, and another in the Doubles event in Table Tennis with Anolyn Lulu.

Two silver and bronze in weightlifting, Lolo was also saluted at that exciting moment. Medalists Qwea and Mawa stood before the delighted crowd presenting their cherished achievements.

A smiling Tari was applauded for her silver win in judo and under 52kg bronze medalists Monthuel and Bumseng.

An emotional Tommy said as a mother of two, she is very proud to have achieved such a great success. She thanked the Vanuatu government for enabling her the opportunity and especially to her family who understood her and had given her the match needed support since day one one.

“I also would like to thank the Lord for giving me the strength and courage for without him all these would not be possible,” she said through tears.

SG Mainguy on behalf of VASANOC thanked the government for the great support they had that drove them from home soil to host country and back. He expressed his gratitude and confirmed a good bonding team performance in the Solomon Islands.

“As SG, this is a very proud moment for me. I am so proud of my team,” Mainguy said during official presentation.

The proud VASANOC boss applauded the other sport disciplines that defended the country color internationally stating that the two rugby teams- Rugby and Rugby 7s were unbelievable.

The men’s rugby for the leading act in the half time 15-7 and rugby 7s who reached the quarter finals finishing 6th overall position.

He commented a well-done job to the women’s Rugby League first ever international performance and beat the host country twice.

He introduced the two young athletes from golf, Manu Kaftaki and Kaloraewia Chilia who definitely showed great improvement on each game day.

On sympathizing with the Vanuatu weightlifting team he said, “Thomas missed the silver medal in Clean and Jerk by 1kg. It was devastating but You are young and you have a bright future,” he told Thomas.

Mainguy also congratulated the “Robin Hoods” of the team as he nicknamed them- the Vanuatu archery team who really put on their best shows.

Finally, the keen Pacific Games official, acknowledged the presence of three 3 energetic aquatics athletes who showed courage in the pools but had encountered setbacks that the hardworking staff thought that the government needed to be made aware of.

“As you know Minister, we do not have Olympic -sized pools here so they have been training in 12m and 18m sized ones in Vanuatu.

“However, having had to compete in 50m sized pools and they did all their best.

“Job well done to Chloe, Leo and Jonathan” he announced.

This week marks the second week of games.SG Mainguy said the females have gained dominance by bringing home all the medals, however it is their hope that males will bring home medals in the end with more females to add up the nation’s victories.

The airport was packed as families and friends gathered around to hang salusalus, calicos and gifts as the MP for Tafea Outer Islands Netvunei congratulate the athletes on their outstanding performances.

Vanuatu’s men football team will take on New Caledonia today at the semi-finals which means they are in the Solomon Islands along with, Para and able athletics, beach volleyball, track and field events and Vanuatu’s boxing team will all be returning at the end of the Pacific Games 2023.

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SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST