Day 1 Recap
Athletics Fiji got off to a good start winning their first gold medal of the championships with Heleina Young’s 12.03s in the final of the Open Women’s 100m. Unlike the Coke Games, the Open Women’s 100m was a straight final, no heats to have a feel for the track and soak up the atmosphere to use that to her advantage. Regardless, Heleina destroyed the field and came in 0.28s ahead of Australia’s Nicole Kay (12.31s, 2nd) and Vanuatu’s Roselyne Nalin (12.75s, 3rd).
Fiji’s second medal of the day came from Louisa Tubailagi who also showed impressive form as she breasted the tape 0.01s ahead of team mate Salote Baravilala in the final of the Girl’s U18 100m. Tubailagi clocked 12.71s to take 3rd place behind Australia’s Sophie White (12.19s, 1st) and Stephanie Welsh (12.20s, 2nd).
In the Open Men’s 100m finals, Livai Maravou finished 8th in a time of 11.31s while Coke Games 200m Senior Boy’s champion Jim Colasau failed to qualify for the final and settled for a mere 11.50s and a 2018 Melanesian ranking of 11th.
Day 2 Recap
Serenia Ragatu (57.25s, 2nd), Fane Sauvakacolo (1min 00.19s, 2nd) and Vilorina Tuilawaki (5mins 00.32s, 2nd) were the definite dark horses for team Fiji today as they won a silver medal each in the under 18 girl’s 400m, open women’s 400m and open women’s 1500m finals respectively. Winning a silver medal as well was Errol Qaqa in the final of the Men’s 110m hurdles in a time of 15.44s behind PNG’s Mowen Boino (15.25s) into a hurricane of a wind (-4.3m/s).
Also on the men’s side, Meli Senokonoko (54.76s, 8th) and Marika Cabenagauna (4mins 48.79s, 6th) competed today in the Open Men’s 400m and 1500m finals respectively as well as gaining valuable experience and having a taste for regional competitions.
The 5th silver medal of the day came from the mixed sprint medley team that consisted of Heleina Young, Malasebe Tuvusa, Serenia Ragatu and Jim Colasau kept the Australian team honest in their effort to win gold. The Fiji quartet was led off by Heleina Young who managed to beat the Vanuatu runner ahead of her and did not let the Australian lead runner out of her sights as she passed the baton to Malasebe Tuvusa. Tuvusa did not let up either as he closed the stagger on the Australian female runner and gave his team a lead going into the 3rd leg with Serenia Ragatu storming around the bend for the 200m leg. Ragatu shot off the turn ahead of the Australian runner as they both cut in to lane 1 for the final change. Jim Colasau had a comfortable 20m lead for the first 250m of his leg of the race but was over powered in the last 120m by the experience and maturity of the 4th Australian runner.
Day 3 Recap
The 200m was the first of the finals that had Team Fiji represented in the U18 Girls’ finals, Open Women’s finals and Open Men’s finals. Serenia Ragatu kicked things off winning bronze in the Girls’ U18 200m finals in a time of 25.22s. Also in that final were Salote Baravilala (26.05s) and Louisa Tubailagi (26.26s) who finished in 4th and 5th respectively. Up next was Heleina Young who was looking to add another gold medal to her Melanesian outing but Australia’s Nicole Kay had something to say about that. Kay stormed the finish line 0.27s ahead of Heleina who had to settle for silver in a time of 24.77s.
Team Fiji was represented by Livai Maravou, Jim Colasau and Malasebe Tuvusa in the Open Men’s 200m. Livai (22.52s) and Jim (22.99s) progressed on to the finals where they respectively finished 4th and 8th while Tuvusa failed to make it to the finals after clocking a time of 23.17s in the heats.
Vilorina Tuilawaki continued her silver medal performance in the Open Women’s 800m clocking an impressive 2mins 20.97s behind Australia’s Isabella Thornton-Bott (2mins 10.67s). Also continuing her silver medal performance from yesterday was Fane Sauvakacolo in the Open Women’s Triple Jump. Fane jumped an impressive 11.26m proving that her 11.40m a couple of weeks back wasn’t sheer luck.
Team captain Marika Cabenagauna and Errol Qaqa added to Team Fiji’s medal tally when they each won a silver medal and bronze medal respectively in the Open Men’s 800m final and Open Men’s 400m hurdles.
Also adding to the medal tally were the Men’s and Women’s senior 4x100m relay teams who finished 3rd and 2nd respectively. The Women’s team that consisted of Ragatu, Tubailagi, Baravilala and Young clocked 47.94s while the Men’s team that was made up of Maravou, Qaqa, Colasau and Tuvusa clocked 42.16s.
Open Women’s 100m finals
Open Men’s 100m finals