PM wins silver, as teams tested for depth
The depth of each country and territory competing in SPG2007 archery was comprehensively tested today in the Team Matchplay event.
With plenty of crowd support, the Samoan Men's Recurve team scored the home country's first ever archery silver medal in a showdown with the more experienced Tahitians, with a score of 162 to Tahiti's 170. After dispatching with the 2nd Solomon Island's team in the first round, the Samoan Team of Muaausa Joseph Walter, young Andrew Junior Ah Liki and Tuala Oli Ah Him fell to the gold medal-winning Tahitian combination of, Didier Gras, Teiva and Tearii Winkelstroeter.
In the Bronze playoff, the Solomon Islands team fell to the more experienced Tongan team who won their nation's first medal in the archery competition. The Solomon's team were far from disgraced in what was for many of the team their first ever archery tournament. The young Solomon Islanders are a team to watch out for in years to come.
History was also made in the Mixed Recurve Team Matchplay, with a serving Prime Minister, Samoa's the Hon. Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi, winning silver with the Samoan team in their loss to the New Caledonian combination of Laurent Clerte, Emmanuelle Guihard and Henri Shiu. The other members of the Samoan team, Eddie Chan Pao and Vaimasenuu Zita Martel maintained the heat on the French territory, although they could not bridge the gap by the end of that match and went down 208 - 179. In the bronze playoff some very high scoring shooting saw Fiji narrowly edged out by Tahiti, depite Fiji's early lead. Shanti and Richard Cook showed formidable early consistency, yet the wife and husband team lost in a strong comeback from Tahiti's Jean Gooding and Yannick Ieoce.
The final event of day three was the Mixed Recurve Team Matchplay, in which the Tahitian team of 16 year-old Daniele Gras, Teiva and Tearii Winkelstroeter finished in gold medal position despite a very close finish, edging out the crowd favourite Samoan team by 167-161. The Solomon's again were pipped for bronze, this time by Fiji.
The crowd at the Faleata archery field was vocal in their support for the local teams with many expressing their enthusiasm for the spectacle. Media from around the Pacific including was also on the field, indicating strong interest from the public in new archery nations such as the Solomons. They were not disappointed in a strong showing from competitors across the Pacific and it is fair to say that the dominance of the French-speaking Pacific is looking threatened.
Source: Luke James. 31 August 2007