Pacific Games

Pacific Games: Team Fiji Wins Gold At Badmington Team Event

Sisters Karen Gibson and Andra Whiteside said there was a lot of pressure to win against New Caledonia.
11 Jul 2019 16:00
Pacific Games: Team Fiji Wins Gold At Badmington Team Event
Badmington team with their medals. PHOTO FASANOC

The Fiji badminton team event secured gold after collecting 59 points followed by New Caledonia 49 and Tahiti bronze with 48 points.

The Brent Munday coached side were hopeful that New Caledonia beat Tahiti.

New Caledonia did and this gave them the advantage of securing top spot position.

Fiji had beaten New Caledonia on Tuesday.

Sisters Karen Gibson and Andra Whiteside said there was a lot of pressure to win against New Caledonia.

“We just had to compose ourselves, be calm and communicate.”

Gibson was close to not taking part on Tuesday. She had get administered with saline drip on Sunday after suffering from severe dehydration.

Yesterday it was all or nothing for New Caledonia and Tahiti one of the biggest matches at the Mixed Team event so far.

A win for Tahiti would secure a Gold medal while New Caledonia would bring Fiji into the equation in a three-way tie and a countback on games won/lost would commence.

New Caledonia were fast off the blocks to unsettle the first seeds from Tahiti. Johanna Kou and Ronan Ho-Yagues got the first point on the board with an impressive victory in the Mixed Doubles.

Tahiti’s golden boy and Oceania’s 2019 Men’s Singles runner-up, Rémi Rossi, looked flustered in the opening game of his Men’s Singles. New Caledonia’s Morgan Paitio looked in control throughout the first game, controlling the game until 17-15. However, a net roll by Rossi changed the momentum and he went on to take the game in two.

New Caledonia responded in the Women’s Singles as Dgenyva Matauli took the match in two games, before Tahiti retaliated with interest in the Men’s Doubles, leaving it all up to a deciding

Badmington team medal presentation. PHOTO: Badmington Oceania

Badmington team medal presentation. PHOTO: Badmington Oceania

Women’s Doubles.

Johanna Kou and Dgenyva Matauli (New Caledonia) and Coralie Bouttin and Esther Tau (Tahiti) were given the ultimate task in the deciding Women’s Doubles. Met by an electric crowd, fellow Tahitian’s and New Caledonian’s from multiple other sports showed up to cheer on the teams.

Ultimately, it was the New Caledonian’s who held the most control and ensured the results came down to a countback. The experienced Johanna Kou (who ‘doubles’ up as both player and President of the Ligue) and Matauli took the game 21-16 21-17 after 22 intense minutes of action.

As the results tallied up, it became clear that Fiji’s emphatic win against the second seeds, New Caledonia, and a nail-biting close defeat at the hands of first seeds, Tahiti, was key to their success. Additionally, Fiji achieved a feat no other team had achieved; a 5-0 victory against all the other teams: Samoa, Kiribati, Northern Marianas and Tonga.

Therefore, the countback on games won/lost presented Fiji with the greatest margin, followed by New Caledonia in second and Tahiti in third.

Feedback: anasilinir@fijisun.com.fj

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