10 Jul 2015

Sport: PNG power ahead at Pacific Games

8:34 am on 10 July 2015

A powerful display in the PNG Power Dome has kept Papua New Guinea at the top of the Pacific Games medal table.

Pacific Games Papua New Guinea

The sun sets at the athletes village in Papua New Guinea at the 2015 Pacific Games. Photo: Lee Maoate-Cox

In close pursuit are New Caledonia, Tahiti, Samoa, and Fiji.

The hosts won seven of nine gold medals on the first day of power-lifting and also had more success in the pool.

Hitolo Kevau kicked off proceedings with a gold medal in the women's 47kg division and was joined by compatriots Dobi Mea, Belinda Umang, Kalau Andrew, Melissa Tikio, and Anderson Mangela.

PNG's final champion was Linda Pulsan, who set a new Masters record while out-lifting five competitors young enough to be her daughters.

PNGs 74kg powerlifting gold medal winner Anderson Mangela. One of seven PNG winners on day one of power-lifting.

PNGs 74kg powerlifting gold medal winner Anderson Mangela. One of seven PNG winners on day one of power-lifting. Photo: RNZ / Vinnie Wylie

Nauru's Starron Slade Dowabobo broke the home team's run in the men's 66kg division, with a monster total of 575kg, while his teammate Deamo Baguga doubled his country's tally in the final event of the night.

Elsewhere, Ryan Pini made it five gold medals in four days, winning the 50m butterfly and helping PNG's 50m mixed relay team set a new games record.

New Caledonia added three more golds to their swimming collection, with Tonga and Guam adding to their tallies as well.

Up for grabs today are medals in swimming, touch rugby, table tennis, rugby sevens and Va'a.

The finalists will also be decided for the Oceania Olympic football qualifier.

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