Congratulations Team Cook Islands
Photo: National pride was boosted big time during the 2009 Pacific Mini Games as we got behind our athletes to do their best. 90930120
If you look at Team Cook Islands hard enough, you will find that each of the 15 islands is represented by an athlete or two like the sailors from Manihiki, boxers from Pukapuka, table tennis players from Mauke, sprinters from Aitutaki, league players from Mangaia and the list goes on.
Coincidence or fate then saw Team Cook Islands win 15 gold medals – one for each island.
Add 13 silver medals and 17 bronze to the haul and you have one nation on a high with 45 medals.
Out of the 15 codes, 12 ended their PMG campaign with medals.
Our largest gold medal hauls came from the golf course and the bowls green.
Lawn bowlers rolled their way to four gold medals in the ladies pairs, ladies triples and ladies fours. David Akaruru was the only man to pick up a gold medal on the green in the men’s singles competition.
On the golf course – the gold medal wins were a team effort with both the men’s and women’s team picking up gold medals.
Striking out on their own to win individual gold medals were Kirk Tuaiti and Aitutaki born Elmay Viking.
To add a bit of variety to the golf medal haul, Sonny Karati scored a bronze medal in the men’s individual category.
Our sailors, who won the most medals award at the prizegiving aboard Vaka Te Au O Tonga, will bask in the glory of their success for some time to come with three gold medals.
Two of the gold medals were won on team points in the Laser radial and Laser standard with Helema Williams picking up the gold after 15 perfect races, of which she won all but two.
The sport of tennis also made history with two gold medals by the gutsy Kairangi Vano in the singles and doubles with partner Brittany Teei.
Touch rugby players also delivered a great result with a gold medal won by the men’s team and a hard fought gold by the mixed team.
It would have been three gold medals but the ladies just missed out to take the silver medal and share gold in the mixed competition.
On the track and field Tereapii Tapoki picked up two bronze medals and league player Mau George managed to win a bronze medal in the shot put.
In the ring, Pukapukan boxers Vengi Hagai and Osolai Agai won silver and bronze respectively.
For our netballers, a bronze medal was better than no medal at all.
The rebellious league lads socked it to their critics and pulled the silver medal after two losses and one draw on the first day of competition.
The triathlon bronze medal was another team effort achievement thanks to Geoff Stoddart, Thomas Henderson and Jennie George.
On the water, silver was the go for our paddlers who won four silver medals and two bronzes.
And at the weightlifting – brothers Sam Pera Jnr and Sirla Pera between them won three silver medals and two bronze medals.
The most amazing scenes were seen when Cook Islands athletes collected their medals with their children and babies ensuring future Cook Islands athletes know what to strive for – to be the best.
What an effort by Team Cook Islands, but gold medals should also go to the volunteers, cleaners, organisers and everyone who had a hand in making sure that our athletes had the best possible stage to perform on.
Congratulations Team Cook Islands. - Matariki Wilson :Cook Islands News