The rush for gold picked up pace on the second day of the XVI Pacific Games with 26 gold medals shared among 8 countries by the end of the day’s competition.
New Caledonia is off to the lead on the medal table with 8 gold, Tahiti and Fiji both have 4, Samoa and Kiribati at 3 each, Solomon Islands 2, Papua New Guinea and Nauru with one apiece.
There are 11 countries already with medals to their names with the rest yet to medal.
Host country Samoa celebrated gold with her first gold coming in archery with swimming adding in two more.
Archer Jill Walters took gold in the ladies 70 meter recurve bow to give her team mates, a golden boost.
Included among her cheering team members was the Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, himself a contestant for Team Samoa in archery.
Another cheering teammate for the gold medalist is her father Muaausa Joseph Walters who is also an archer.
Muaausa is the President of Archery in Samoa and the person most instrumental in the sporting career of her 18 year old daughter.
Walters was one of 6 local archers who received coaching in China in preparations for the Games. She also brought into competition this week her experience from the Youth Olympics she attended in Argentina last year.
“She managed to shoot a personal best, while representing Samoa,” her father Muaausa said on their return from the Youth Olympics.”
The gold medal win will boost her chances of qualifying for the upcoming 2020 Olympics in Japan next year.
She has already shot above the Olympic 300 qualifying mark with a score of 305 from 36 arrows at the Youth Olympic, much to the delight of her father on her score at Argentina.
“ Not everyone can go to these Olympic Games, you need to reach a high standard for people to qualify and I very happy see was able to shoot above standard during real competition.”
Team Samoa in swimming are celebrating the two gold meals they added before the end of the day to Samoa’s tally.
Gold medalist Brendon Schuster and Lauren Sale both claimed gold in the men’s and women’s 200m backstroke.
Fiji won gold at the Apia Park Stadium in rugby league as the rush for gold picks up momentum on the third day of competition today.