Commonwealth Games 2022 - Pacific Islanders in Action
The Pacific islands have snatched their first 2022 Commonwealth Games GOLD ladies and Gentlemen!
In fact, our Pasifika athletes managed to collect one Gold and two Bronze medals in Weightlifting for three of our island nations early this morning.
Samoa have won their first Gold with 23yr old Don Opeloge smashing the Commonwealth Games record in the Mens 96kg Weightlifting final. He strolled in and snatched 171kg and clean & jerked 210kg giving him an aggregate score of 381kg (also a Comm Games record). Fijian Taniela Rainibogi picked up Bronze in the same event.
Earlier in the evening Maximina Uepa picked up a Bronze medal for Nauru - one of the smallest Pacific island nations competing at the Commonwealth Games! How good?!
Maximina competed in the 76kg division lifting 96kg in the Snatch and 119kg in the Clean & Jerk.
Take a look at how our Pacific Islands teams are tracking and who we should look out for over the next few days at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
NB all times indicated below are in NZT.
The Cook Islands swimmers wound up their games this evening with the Mens 4x 100m medley relay.
Lanihei Connelly was a stand out for the team making the Semi-final twice in both the womens 50m & 100m breaststroke.
The 16yr old youngster will be one to watch in future games and follows in the footsteps of her Mum and cousin who also competed for the Cooks. She currently attends Baradene College and is the youngest competitor on the Cook Islands swim team.
The Cook Islands Lawn Bowls team are still in action with many of the team in action again this evening from 7.30pm this evening. The Mens sectional play take on Fiji tomorrow morning at 5am.
No'oroa Mataio made it to the Quarter Finals in the Womens Singles and fun fact: 4 members of the Kuki Lawn Bowls team are family members. Teokotai Jim, her husband Phillip & daughters Emily and Tiare are all competing.
Cook Islands athletes still to compete -
Michael Schuster - Heavyweight boxer takes on Niuean Duken Williams at 8am on Friday morning
Manine Lynch - Womens 87kg Weightlifting at 1am on Thursday
Taniela Rainibogi added to Fiji's medal tally picking up Bronze in the 96kg Weightlifting final in the early hours of the morning.
The athletics, boxing, Rugby 7s & Squash competitors have completed their Commonwealth Games 2022 events.
Fiji Aquatics team have almost wrapped their Commonwealth Games campaign with just one swim remaining - the Mens 4x100m Medley Relay which is on this evening from 10pm.
Fiji athletes still to compete -
Judo this evening from 9pm
Lawn Bowls this morning from 3.15am
Table tennis this evening from 9.40pm
Weightlifting - Helen Seipua will compete on Thursday morning at 1am in the Womens 87kg division final.
Kiribati's boxers all took L's over the weekend and have not advanced past the first round.
Lataisi Mwea competed last night in the 100m heats.
Weightlifter Ruben Katoatau made headlines with Australian medal who have stated he is one of the most popular competitors with both fans and the media.
He told Radio Australia he was inspired to start the sport because of his brother, David Katoatau, who went to three Olympics, and became a cult figure for his enthusiastic dancing after lifts.
"I really love weightlifting because I just want to do everything for my country. And I really want to encourage everyone out in Kiribati to what I do," Katoatau said.
Katoatau trains outdoors, there's no proper gym where he lives and, when it rains, they have to find shelter.
He's one of eight athletes competing from Kiribati at the Games, and they provide a valuable platform for him and his sport.
* Kiribati's athletes have wrapped their games
Nauru's athletics team have both finished their 100m heats. Jireh Agege ran a Personal Best time of 11.08s, while fellow sprinter Wena Gobure also ran a Personal best time of 13.21 in the Womens 100m heats.
Naurus boxers did not make it past the first round while their Judo team picked up 1 win with Kip Kosam making it through to the Quarter Finals.
All of Nauru's Weightlifters have completed their comps with the last of their competitors Maximina Uepa winning Bronze in the Womens 76kg! How good?!
Niue's Boxing team have recorded two losses but Welterweight boxer Xavier Mata'afa Ikinofo won his fight this morning with a win over Cameroon's Jean Ngah. Legendary boxing coach Lolo Heimuli said of his win this morning "He beat the Cameroon boxer on points.￼He had a slow start so lost the first round but came back and won the 2nd round. So whoever wins the last wins the fight.
Both Xavier and his opponent were tired. But knowing Xavier’s heart and character, I believed he could do it. And he did. He definitely have the X-Factor! But the best is yet to come!" Lolo added
Xavier now progresses through to the Quarter Final and will take on Rohit Tokas from India on Friday morning at 7am.
Duken Williams will also be fighting in the Quarter Finals that morning and takes on Cook Islands boxer Michael Schuster at 8am.
Niue athletes still to compete -
Niue's Lawn Bowls are currently still competing with many of their team bowling tonight from 7.30pm
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea still have one Silver medal so far in Weighlifting from the weekends competition.
PNG's Aquatics team finished up with the last of their races this evening. Ryan Maskelyne did extremely well making it right through to the Finals in the Men's 200m Breaststroke.
A number of their athletes are competing this evening in the 100m, 100m & 400m Hurdles heats, Discus Qualifier and Heptathlon. A busy night for the PNG Athletics Team.
Papua New Guinea athletes still to compete -
Womens Heptathlon & Mens Hurdles from 6am this morning
In Boxing Neville Warupi has just beaten Pemberton Lele from the Solomon Islands. Both him and team mates Arthur Lavalou and Jamie Chang will progress to the Quarter Finals early Friday morning from 1am.
Squash this evening from 10.30pm
Table tennis this evening from 8.30pm
For the Samoa Aquatics team, Olivia Borg has been a standout making the Women's 50m Butterfly Semi-final.
Samoa Swimming Facebook page said her final time of 27.37 resulted in her being ranked 15th in the Commonwealth breaking yet another National Record and she has made history as the first swimmer from Samoa to advance to the Semi finals at the Commonwealth Games.
Team co-captain Brandon Schuster will finish off the teams competition when he races the 200m individual medley this evening from 9.30pm
In athletics, Womens Shot Putter Nu'u Tuilefano has made the Shot Put final and will go up against fellow Pacific Islander 'Ata Maama Tu'utafaiva on Thursday morning at 7.05am.
Meanwhile, Mens Discus Thrower Alex Rose fresh off the World Athletics champs in Eugene where he made history qualifying for the finals there, has qualified for the Commonwealth Games Finals which will take place on Friday at 7.35am.
Kolone Alefosio competes this morning in the 110m Hurdles at 7.05am
GOLD for Samoa by way of weightlifting sensation Don Opeloge - he'll definitely be one to watch at the next Olympic Games.
William Tai Tin was Samoa's only Judo competitor and was eliminiated earlier today.
Samoa's Rugby 7s team made 5th place after going so close against NZ over the weekend.
Boxer Jancen Poutoa lost his fight against Welsh fighter Taylor Bevan but team mate Marion Ah Tong is threw to the Quarter finals on Friday morning after beating Sri Lankan Niklas Vittalis. Catch Marion in action again on Friday the 5th at 7.30am.
Samoa athletes still to compete -
More of Samoa's weightlifting medal hopefuls come through over the next few days.
Jack Opeloge competes this evening at 8.30pm
Feagaiga Stowers (2018 Commonwealth Games Gold medalist) competes just after midnight on Thursday from 1am and Petelo Lautusi rounds off Samoa's weightlifting competitors at 5.30am on Thursday.
Athletics field finalists - Nu'u Tuilefano in Shot Put on Thursday morning at 7.05am and Alex Rose in Discus on Friday morning at 7.35am
Boxer Ato Plodzicki-Faoagali is up on Friday morning in his Quarter final bout.
The Solomon Islands Aquatics, Athletics, Judo and Weightlifting teams have completed their 2022 games.
Solomon Islands Boxer Pemberton Lele has just wrappd his fight bowing out with a loss to PNG fighter Neville Warupi
Solomon Islands history making Womens Beach Volleyball team lost to Vanuatu this morning and have one game remaining against Scotland on Friday morning at 2.30am
Solomon Islands athletes yet to compete
Table tennis with heats starting from 8.30pm tonight and going through to Thursday evening from 10.50pm
Tonga Rugby 7s made it through to the Mens 9th-12th place semi final but went down to Uganda on the weekend.
Tongan Boxer Mele Ula lost her fight last night against Nigerian Jacinta Umunnakwe.
The Tongan swimmers have all wrapped up their races except for Charissa Panuve (pictured below) who will compete in the Womens 400m freestyle tomorrow evening.
Sprinter Ronald Fotofili competed tonight in the Mens 100m running a personal best time of 10.80m and 'Atamaama Tu'utafaiva finished competing in the Group A Womens Shot Put and has qualified for the Shot Put final on Thursday morning at 7am.
We'll keep you posted on how she goes but in the meantime you can catch her interview with us in the video below -
Tongan athletes still to compete -
Tongan Weightlifters compete tomorrow evening from 8.30pm. Sio Pomelile in the Mens 109kg division and flag bearer Kuinini Manumua in the Womens 87kg division.
The Tongan wrestling team start their Commonwealth Games bid on Friday
Team Tuvalu have wrapped their games with only the Tuvalu Beach Volleyball team still left to play tomorrow morning at 2.30am against Cyprus.
More on the Mens Beach Volleyball team in our wrap from the weekend here
Vanuatu medal hopefuls the Womens Beach volleyball team have beaten both Scotland 2-0 and the Solomon Islands 2-0 in their Commonwealth Games preliminary games. They take on England on Friday morning at 7am.
The Vanuatu Beach Volleyball pair took Bronze in the 2018 Commonwealth Games so will be hoping to better that this time around.
Vanuatu's athletics and Boxing teams have wrapped for this Games.
Vanuatu Athletes still to compete
Womens Beach Volleyball
Weightlifting - Ajah Pritchard-Lolo in the Womens 87kg division.
Judo - Marius Metois in the 90kg Quarter final today
Table Tennis from this evening at 8.30pm through to 7.40am Thursday morning
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