SOL23: Double Gold for Tahiti in Table Tennis

It was an exciting day of action at HCC Arena. Photos: Lawrence Ale, Pacific Games News Service

Tahiti, Solomon Islands, and Fiji claimed gold in the table tennis team finals at the Sol2023 Pacific Games on Thursday at HCC Arena.

In the women’s competition, Tahiti had shocked 2019 gold medallists Vanuatu earlier in the day when they narrowly beat them (3-2) in an intense semi-final match, which was fitting of a final.

Speaking after the match, Tahiti’s team manager Lanteires Heifara, said: “Vanuatu is one of the best teams in the Pacific. We beat them today, and I’m very proud of my girls. We have no other option now but to win the gold.”

Making the celebration more special for Tahiti was the fact that two twin sisters, still in their teens, Keala and Kelley Tomametua, who were among the four women making up the women’s team, competed in their first ever Pacific Games.

Vanuatu’s top player, Priscilla Tommy, emotional after the loss, said: “It was a very tough game. I believe we lacked more training, as we were only preparing for one and a half months. However, I am still proud of my team.”

Tahiti later went on to claim gold against Fiji (3-2). Fiji settled for silver, and Vanuatu took home the bronze after beating New Caledonia 3-1.

In the men’s team finals, Tahiti again claimed gold after defeating New Caledonia (3-1). New Caledonia was forced to settle for silver, and Papua New Guinea was victorious over Fiji (3-0) to claim the bronze.

In the men’s Para teams finals, Solomon Islands won gold, defeating defending champions Tahiti (3-0). Tahiti had to settle for silver, while Papua New Guinea took the bronze after beating Tuvalu (3-0).

Fiji won the women’s Para teams final, beating Solomon Islands (4-1). Fiji and Solomon Islands were the only two women’s teams in that category, therefore, there was no bronze medal match.

The table tennis singles action will continue at HCC Arena on Friday and Saturday, starting at 9am.

Entry is free.

By Donaldson Saepioh, Pacific Games News Service