By Firmin Nanol and Nobert Koke, Port Moresby 2015 Games News Service
PORT MORESBY, July 6 – Tahiti has won the men’s and women’s team table tennis gold medals at the Port Moresby 2015 Pacific Games, defending both titles and ensuring continued dominance over its Pacific rivals.
In a repeat of Noumea 2011, Tahiti matched up with their New Caledonian rivals in both team finals at the Caritas Technical Secondary School.
The Tahitian men had a relatively easy time of it, winning five matches to one, while the women had to battle back from a 1-3 deficit to take the match 5-3.
Tahiti women’s coach Mathieu Darrou (TAH) was full of praise for his players’ ability to get back into the match.
“The girls played as a team and listened to all my advice. They lost the first two games but had high hopes of completing the match, which they did, and came out champions,” he said.
”It was very difficult. The New Caledonians were very, very strong at the start. They took a 3-1 lead and my players had to be very strong mentally to win 5-3. It was so beautiful.”
Tahiti men’s head coach Vetea Mollon (TAH) said his players were just too strong for New Caledonia.
”We prepared for two years and the results tonight are the fruits of our labour,” he said.
“We can say we are the best table tennis [nation] in the Pacific.”
Now the Tahiti team’s focus moves to the individual events and Darrou said the team is confident they can continue their strong run.
“We have a young team and the spirit is very high at the moment, we hope to complete these Games with many more gold medals,” he said.
Vanuatu won both bronze medals on offer, beating Fiji 5-2 in both men’s and women’s events.
Allan Lam (VAN) was thrilled with his bronze medal.
“I’m happy, its my first time at the Pacific Games and I won a medal.”
GNS fn/nk/jf for more information visit www.portmoresby2015.com