The new millennium – Vanuatu looks to the future – Part One

The team won one silver and 2 bronze medals, all to Athletics. Jimmy Sandy Sam (aka Sandy Okau & Sandy Molu) won the silver medal in the 10000m event (33:19.04 for a new Vanuatu National Record). He also won a bronze medal in the 5000m with a time of 15:59.38. The 10000m race ended in controversy with Team Vanuatu and Jimmy eventually accepting apologies from Tahiti after the gold medal winner displayed poor sportsmanship in his run down the final straight to the finish line.

 The 4 x 400m Relay Team continued their bronze medal tradition with the quartet of Moses Kamut, Alone Molisingi, Peter-Paul Enkae and David Thomas in the time of 3:22.37. They had won the bronze in this event for four Mini Games in a row after claiming the gold in 1985.

 The next full South Pacific Games were held in Suva in 2003. Here Vanuatu won 2 gold medals, 9 silver and 8 bronze.

 Boxing led the way with one gold, two silver and four bronze.

 The gold medal was won by Mark Peter Nauka in the 69kg Division. The two silver medals were won by Charley Kamatim (51kg) and Tom Majura (60kg).

 Harold Gavika won bronze in the 54kg Division and he was joined by Tarwai Naling (64kg), Leonard Numbu (75kg) and Eric Wassab (81kg).

 Another of the martial arts, Karate, returned home with four silver medals and one bronze. The fighting forces of Vanuatu had done the nation proud.

 The Men’s Karate Team competition saw Vanuatu win silver, and the individual medals winners were Paul Iauko (65kg Division – silver), Steven Tumu (70kg – silver), Hanna Kausiama (Women’s 60kg Division - silver) and Yves Lui (Male Open Division – bronze).

 Table Tennis had gradually established a solid presence in Vanuatu and success was starting to flow in the regional competitions. They added to their success from Guam with a gold medal in the Women’s Team Competition (Emmeline Clochard, Wai-Yein Wong and Anolyn Lulu), and silver medals to Wai-Yein Wong (Womens’s Individual) and to Kerry Mok and Wai-Yein Wong (Women’s Doubles. The Men’s Team won the bronze medal.

 The Football Team made the play-off for the bronze medal, defeating Tahiti 1-0 in their game.

 Athletics had to settle for one silver medal (Moses Kamut in the 400m – 48.39 seconds) and a bronze to the many-named Jimmy Sandy Sam in the 10000m (33:04.1 for a new Vanuatu NR which still stands today).

 For the second time in its history, the Games headed north of the equator, and almost all of the way to the Philippines - to Palau, where the Mini Games were staged for the first time in Micronesia.

 It was a very small team – only five competitors, and all returned with a medal. The final medal tally for Vanuatu was 2 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze.

 In Athletics, Moses Kamut was a one-man-band, being the only track and field athletes being sent. He won an impressive 100m gold medal in 10.64 seconds, beating the fastest man in the Pacific (at that time), Jone Delai of Fiji. Moses’ time is still the Vanuatu National Record. He also came second in the 200m event in 21.67 seconds.

 Table Tennis continued its great showing for the nation with one gold, two silver and a bronze medal.

 The gold came in the Women’s Team Event. In the Doubles, Priscilla Tommy and Anolyn Lulu-Flynn won the silver, and Emmeline Clochard and Kerry Mok won the bronze. Priscilla Tommy won the silver in the singles competition.

 The next Pacific Games, as it was soon to be called, was much closer to home and a larger team was sent.

 Bob Snow


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