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With the last day of competition today, Papua New Guinea is set to win the 2013 Mini Pacific Games in Wallis and Futuna.
The closing ceremony is set for the Kalifa Stadium in the Wallis and Futuna capital tomorrow and Team PNG has the Games in the bag with 28 gold, 20 silver and 22 bronze medals, far ahead of closest rival New Caledonia.
This will be the second time PNG has won the mini version of the Pacific Games. The first win was at the second Pacific Mini Games in 1985 when the Cook Islands capital of Rarotonga hosted it 27 years ago.
PNG sent the biggest contingent to the Wallis and Futuna Games and that made them favourites to win.
Team PNG press officer Thomas Hukahu said from Wallis and Futuna that PNG was aiming for the last gold medal in men’s volleyball when the Amoa take on host, Wallis and Futuna today in the gold medal play-off.
They advanced into the last round of the competition after beating favourites New Caledonia 3 sets to 2 ( 29-27, 25-19, 25-19, 25-19, 25-16).
The 2010 Oceania champions came into the first set with spectacular hits from the front and back court to beat PNG 29-27. The French territory players used their height and size advantage and continued their attack by taking the second set 25-19.
Coach Tommy Luis spoke to his players after the second set and they started getting into the game by blocking the power hitters of New Caledonia and paid closer attention to their passes.
As a result, the Amoa won the third set 25-19 and continued the tempo into the fourth set by winning 25-19. Possibly though the humidity took a toll on their opponents, PNG came strongly in the last set to walk away 15-6 winners.
PNG will possibly meet the same team or Wallis and Futuna in the gold playoff tomorrow.
PNG women, however, did not do well and lost to New Caledonia 3-0.
New Caledonia looked more confident in their game and beat them in straight sets 25-13, 25-14 and 25-16.
In the beach volleyball competition, PNG picked up a silver medal after losing to pre-match favourites Vanuatu 2-0 ( 21-9/21-11)
Solomon Islands beat Palau for the bronze.
PNG men’s team of Richard Batari and Harry Omoa were successful this time in beating Tonga 25-23, 21-15.
In the gold playoff, Tahiti beat Samoa 21-17, 26-24.
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
Media Helping Media