New Caledonia eased through their match against Northern Marianas this morning to extend their impressive run at the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games. The second seeded team are gearing up for their upcoming matches against first and third seeds, Tahiti and Fiji, over the next 24 hours.
Meanwhile, Tahiti and Fiji were battling it out on court number two as it all came down to the wire. Tahiti got off to a great start after their star player and the regional Men’s Singles runner-up, Rémi Rossi, breezed through the Men’s Singles and the Men’s Doubles pair took the next game in three.
Fijian trio, Karyn Whiteside Gibson, Danielle and Andra Whiteside followed up with win’s in the Women’s Singles and Doubles to bring the score back level, leaving it up to a deciding Mixed Doubles match.
It looked like Fiji’s Burty Molia and Karyn Whiteside Gibson had the first game in the bag after keeping their cool with an 18-16 lead. However, a couple of mistakes later, the Tahitian’s crept through and took the opener 21-18. Rémi Rossi and Coralie Bouttin took the momentum straight into the second game and ran away with a 21-9 win to seal the overall victory.
Finally, neighbouring rivals Tonga and Samoa opened proceedings on the live stream court. Tonga was fast off the blocks and celebrated a resounding 5-0 victory, having won every match over two games.
“We would like to thank Samoa. They trained and competed very well and we look forward to all our upcoming matches after today”, says Lauti Naaniumotu.
Tahiti continued their unbeaten run this afternoon with a whitewash victory over the home team. Samoan sisters, Cherish and Jasmine Reti, put up the most convincing battle against Tahiti in the Women’s Doubles. The duo remained in close contention for a large part of the second game, but the Tahitian’s signed off a 5-0 victory after winning the tie 21-10 21-17.
Sisterhood continued to be the theme of the evening as Fijian sisters, Karyn and Andra Whiteside, helped Fiji to pull off one of the biggest upsets in the team event so far.
The third seeds from Fiji went all the way to the wire against New Caledonia second seeds. At 2-1, the Men’s Doubles pair, Burty Moli and Ahmad Ali (Fiji), were in a must-win situation and demonstrated their greater playing experience on court as they overcame their rivals in two nail biting games 21-19 24-22.
Pacific Games multi-medalist, Johanna Kou and her partner, Dgenyva Matauli, were assigned the mission to lead the team to victory. After losing the first game 21-18, the pair turned it up a notch and smashed through the second game 21-17 to take it to a third and final end, where the sisters played patiently and more consistently to close the tie with a 21-15 win.
The sisters from Fiji badminton scored the biggest upset so far at the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games 😱 It came down to the wire against second seeds, New Caledonia, as Karyn and Andra Whiteside sealed the victory for the third seeds 🇫🇯 Last rallies and post-match interview ⬇️
Posted by Badminton Oceania on Monday, July 8, 2019
It was a similar story for Kiribati and Northern Marianas too. Both teams were competing in their first Pacific Games event, but Northern Marianas were quick to seize the win after taking an early 3-1 lead.
However, Women’s Doubles conquerors from Kiribati, Tinabora Tekeiaki and Teitiria Utimawa, continued their unbeaten run throughout the tournament after winning their last tie to a comfortable margin 21-12 21-6. If the pair continue their form through the rest of the week, it looks promising that they could go on to reach the podium in the Individual event.
Follow the draw and check out all results from today’s competition on Tournament Software.