Just short of the Mark at NC2011
Team Marshall Islands athletes reached new levels in their performances at the New Caledonia 2011 Pacific Games. Our team consisted of three swimmers and one runner. Personal bests were achieved by nearly all of the athletes that were sent to compete.
Giordan Harris swam in 5 events and qualifying for B-finals for 4 events. He was able get the A-finals for 200 meter freestyle. Harris received personal bests in all the events he swam in. Similarly, Daniel Langinbelik achieved personal bests, swimming in 4 events and qualifying for B-finals in 2 events. Falling short by the tiniest of margins, Ann-Marie Hepler swam in 6 events and qualifying for A-finals in four events. Hepler achieved 4th place overall in the 50M butterfly, missing the bronze medal by just .01 seconds.
Over in the Athletics arena, Marshall Islands' more famous runner, Haley Nemra, ran fairly well in her 800 meter preliminary. She was well ahead of Noemie Turaud of New Caledonia, 2:37.02 and Olivia Eteaki of Tonga, 2:49.01. Nemra finished 3rd at 2:32.51, just behind Salome Dell of Palau, 2:17.59, qualifying her for the finals. Although she ran exceptionally well in the prelim, was revisited by an injury that she had just underwent surgery for. After the prelim Nemra revealed that she "felt pain as she got off to her toes to accelerate at the first 100 meters of the race and could not pace off with the runners from PNG and Fiji. Coach, Daniel Andrew, not wanting to re-injure and risk missing out on competitions in the near future, decided to immediately withdraw her from the finals after X-rays revealed bones and cartilage around the tendons in her ankle. Consequently, Nemra had to pull out of the 400 meter event as well. Nemra's unfortunate health problem does not over shadow the fact that Nemra ran fairly well and would have been in serious contention.
Regardless of the upsetting final outcome of Nemra's event and the swim team falling a bit short (by just .01 seconds, to be exact), Team RMI has proven that they are indeed improving individually as athletes and can provide serious competition. On that note, congratulations to NC2011 Team RMI for their outstanding efforts.