Following six fantastic days of action-packed badminton at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium, the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022 concluded with the individual events, gold and bronze medal matches.
Tahiti’s Rémi Rossi and New Caledonia’s Marine Souviat had a huge task ahead as they featured in all three possible finals, competing against each other in the opening event, mixed doubles.
Frist up on court, Rémi and Mélissa carried the same momentum that saw them through to the MIxed Team gold podium just three days earlier. Their second seeded opponents ran out of options as the top seeds outwitted the duo to win in two comfortable games.
Meanwhile, in the bronze medal match, the Tahitian pairs battled it out right up until the end as their contest went the distance.
Both of the 3/4 seeds are celebrating a fantastic singles campaign in Northern Marianas. The 16-year-olds defeated the two top seeds in their respective semifinals, bringing the same patience into today’s game, where Jenica narrowly edged her way to the gold medal.
In the bronze medal match, Mélissa Mi You brought out all her finest tricks to overcome the top seed and multiple Pacific Game medalist, Johanna Kou.
In an exact repeat of the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games Men’s Singles final, the top two seeds met once again. Having already met in the Mixed Doubles final earlier in the day, Rémi started with the same aggression which saw him power through the first game 21-4. Despite a greater challenge in the second, Yohan wasn’t able to find the answers for Remi’s consistent pressure.
Meanwhile, Quentin Bernaix bettered his Samoa 2019 campaign where he lost in the bronze medal match, this time overcoming fellow compatriot Leo Cucuel to take the bronze.
Kou later returned to court in an attempt to avenge her singles defeat, alongside Marine Souviat, who was making her third finals appearance. However, the second seeded Tahitians were fast out of the starting block, running away with a 21-6 win in the first game. The New Caledonian’s showed glimpses of hope in the second game but were unable to break through the Tahitian youngsters.
On the court parallel, Janelle and Jenine’s bronze medal win was met with thunderous applause and cheers in front of an ecstatic home crowd. The pair denied the two dominant nations (New Caledonia and Tahiti) the opportunity to claim every single medal available in the individual competitions – testament to the growing presence of badminton across the country.
Rèmi extended his impressive haul of Pacific Games gold medals to become the most decorated athlete in Northern Marianas. Having competed with Team Tahiti earlier in the week (who won gold in empathic style over New Caledonia), his men’s doubles success was the cherry on top. Alongside Leo Cucuel, they defeated a pair of familiar faces, teammates Glenn and Kyliam, to claim the top spot on the podium.
Ultimately, the podium was a sea of red and white as Tahiti dominated the men’s doubles. Pacific Games debutant, Elias Maublanc (partnered with Quentin Bernaix) claimed bronze as they defeated the top seeded New Caledonians in three heated games which spanned over 44 minutes – the longest match of the finals session.