SOL23: New Caledonia scoop nine golds on first day of karate

Tahiti’s only karate athlete, Kenly Cavanie, claimed a silver medal. Photos: Trevor Aiharia, Pacific Games News Service

New Caledonia won nine gold medals on the first day of the Sol2023 Pacific Games karate competition at SIFF Academy on Thursday.

New Caledonia’s Angelique Mondoloni won gold in women’s individual Kata, beating Nauru’s Jillian Kemp (silver). Solomon Islands’ Mary Liu claimed bronze in the same division.

New Caledonia head coach Gregory Panne said: “We are very satisfied but we were ready to for this, we trained a lot with our young athletes.”

“Winning nine gold medals is not enough, and we are hoping to win more in the next competition.”

He added: “I also would like to have all the Pacific Island countries united together to build a better standard for karate.”

In the Kata male, New Caledonia’s Vu Duc Minh Dack won gold ahead of Nauru’s Paes Kemp who settled for silver, and Robert Anita took bronze.

In the women’s Kumite +68kg final Nauru’s Jillian Kemp won gold, while New Caledonia’s Romina Rambans settled for silver.

New Caledonia’s Lesly Martin won gold in the women’s Kumite -55kg against Solomon Islands’ Mary Liu.

In the women’s Kumite -61kg, New Caledonia’s Lara Le Mestre won gold as Tahiti’s Kenly Cavanie won silver and Adi Kidia got bronze.

Solomon Islands’ Nancy Marle won gold in Kumite female -68kg against New Caledonia’s Aurore Vaysset.

Marle said: “Winning a gold medal makes me really proud the after efforts I put into my preparation.

“This medal is dedicated to my family for their moral support, which keeps me going in my career.”

In the women’s Kumite -50kg, Solomon Islands’ Hazel Uate’e was awarded the gold medal as there were no other opponents in her category, but this will not be counted on the medal tally due to the lack of competition.

New Caledonia’s Brandon Rambans won gold in the men’s +84kg ahead of Solomon Islands’ Junior Otoe.

Competing in the men’s kumite -60kg, New Caledonia’s Kurth Evlakhoff snatched gold, leaving Fiji’s Sandip Pala to settle for silver.

Alan Kerhoze from New Caledonia won gold in the men’s -67kg. Nauru’s Jahsa Peo claimed silver and it was bronze for Solomon Islands’ Kelly Kuni.

Philippe Annonier of New Caledonia claimed gold in he men’s -75kg, followed by Joe Kwasui of Solomon Islands (silver) and Tachu Peo of Nauru (bronze).

In the men’s -84kg Mathieu Annonier from New Caledonia won, Fiji’s Manasa Naqelevuki got silver, and Selwyn Kuru of Solomon Islands claimed bronze.

Karate continues on Friday from 4:30pm.

By Jeffson Aghi and Philip Robo, Pacific Games News Service