4 Sep 2013

Sport: New Caledonia take early track honours at Pacific Games

7:06 am on 4 September 2013

New Caledonia claimed the track and field honours on day one of the Pacific Mini Games in Wallis and Futuna.

"The territory's athletics captain, the veteran runner Nordine Benfoda, opened proceedings by defending his ten thousand metres title from the Pacific Games in Noumea two years ago."

The 40 year-old was 35 seconds clear of Rosfelo Siosi from the Solomon Islands, with Papua New Guinea's Simbai Kaspar taking the bronze in his first overseas competition.

Benfoda's success was shortly followed by compatriot Linda Selui winning gold in the women's javelin, with Tereapii Tapoki from the Cook Islands taking out the women's discus.

Benfoda says the standard of competition was very high.

It's nice to have a good level in Oceania. If you have a good level from all the countries we can have a good level in our proper country. If we just won the medal and that's all, it's not nice for all the Pacific area.

Meanwhile Fiji's Rasalala Waisake was fastest in the men's 100 metres heats in 10.60 seconds.