SOL23: New Caledonia’s Siapo trades bronze for gold in men’s 100m ambulant

New Caledonia’s Felician Siapo (centre) won gold at Sol2023. Photos: Trevor Aiharia and Peter Kofana, Pacific Games News Service

New Caledonia’s Felician Siapo (F44) upgraded his bronze medal from the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games to gold at Sol2023 by winning Monday’s 100m ambulant final at Honiara’s National Stadium.

Siapo clocked a time of 11.93 seconds and secured a placing percentage of 92.20 per cent based on his F44 classification, to claim first place.

In the ambulant category, classifications are a way of grouping athletes with a disability to create meaningful and fair competition. Athletes’ results are measured against their classification to determine their final placing percentage, with a higher percentage closer to 100 indicating a better ranking.

He told the Pacific Games News Service: “I feel very happy to represent my country and win the gold. I have been preparing well and expected to win”.

Siapo will be looking for more medals at Sol2023 in his upcoming events, including javelin and shot put.

In second place and retaining his silver medal from Samoa 2019 was Papua New Guinea’s Steven Abraham (T46) with an impressive time of 11.63 seconds and a placing percentage of 89.59 per cent.

Following the medal ceremony, Abraham said: “I was really hoping to win the gold, nevertheless I feel happy and proud”.

Abraham, who is also a Papua New Guinea (PNG) Olympic Committee HERO athlete ambassador for the Kicks 4 Kokoda program, an initiative aimed at inspiring children in rural areas of PNG to get into sports, said: “This medal means a lot to me and the kids back home. It’s about showing them the importance of respect, humbleness, and how hard work can lead you to achieve anything”.

In third place and bagging the bronze was Tom Lulait (F13) from New Caledonia who ran a time of 11.96 seconds with a final placing percentage of 87.45 per cent.

By Aaron Ballekom and Alfred Kamoi, Pacific Games News Service