The mixed team event at last year’s Samoa 2019 Pacific Games ended with a spectacular twist as Fiji, New Caledonia and Tahiti were caught up in a three-way tie. The very last match of court between New Caledonia and Tahiti would decide the fate for all three teams – with multiple outcomes possible.
With the weight of the gold medal on their shoulders, Tahiti’s Coralie Bouttin and Esther Tau had to win their encounter against New Caledonia as Tahiti entered the court at 2 games apiece.
As the teams and spectators watched from the edge of their seats, all four players fired their hearts and souls across the court. At one game up, New Caledonia’s Johanna Kou and Dgenyva Matauli kept their foot on the pedal and secured the silver medal for New Caledonia. The roar from Team Fiji cemented the decision – despite losing to Tahiti in the previous day, would be walking to the top of the podium.
It’s time to make it or break it. The final standings all depend on this match between Tahiti Badminton Federation and LBaNC Ligue de Badminton de Nouvelle Calédonie, starting now 🏸 #Samoa2019 If Tahiti win ➡️ Gold 🥇 If New Caledonia win ➡️ Countback on games between Tahiti, New Caledonia and Fiji badminton 😱 Watch on the live stream here ➡️ bit.ly/PGlive19
Posted by Badminton Oceania on Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Seven months later and the Pacific rivalry continues as Tahiti, New Caledonia and Fiji compete in the VICTOR Oceania Men’s and Women’s Team Championships (Fiji only competing in the men’s).
Dgenyva, who went on the win gold in the women’s singles and doubles in Samoa, is trying not to think too hard about that match as they prepare to face Tahiti.
“This is a new game and a new tournament. Obviously, we want to win against Tahiti and I am feeling good”, says Dgenyva.
However, the Fijian’s are confident that they can top Pacific rivals once again.
“We are looking forward to maintaining the lead”, says Chang Ho Kim with confidence.
“Playing against our rivals, we will need to be consistent and play our best. Since the Pacific Games, we have a particularly big rivalry against New Caledonia, since we beat them”, says Kim.
However, the team from New Caledonia are eager to retaliate in Ballarat, as they upped the ante in preparation for this event.
“We have been training more than usual, especially with last week’s Oceania development camp. We have focused on maintaining the physical fitness”
“We are good at training and supporting each other”, says Ronan Ho-Yagues, New Caledonia.
The Pacific rivalry begins in the men’s team event at 5pm on Thursday 13 February as New Caledonia take on Tahiti.
Meanwhile, the women’s teams will not be able to have their say until Tahiti and New Caledonia meet at 1pm on Saturday 15 February.
Follow all the results from the VICTOR Oceania Men’s and Women’s Team Championships 2020 on Tournament Software.
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