By Aiva Tamate-Ore, Port Moresby 2015 Games News Service
PORT MORESBY, July 5 – Charlotte Robin bagged the first gold medal of the 2015 Pacific Games when she won the women’s triathlon on Sunday, and New Caledonia took all three triathlon events on Sunday in Port Moresby.
Robin crossed the finish line in 1h 6m 30s and 19 seconds ahead of 17-year-old Tahitian, Salome de Barthez de Marmorieres, with Robin’s countrywoman, Celine Grymonprez-Hirzel, third in 1:08.39.
Robin’s tactics were to jump out ahead of her rivals early, especially as the challenging course involved having to power up the Kumul freeway in the last leg, the run.
“I am better at swimming,” Robin said after her victory. “I made sure I gained the lead in swimming so that I could get ahead.”
In the men’s event, 22-year-old Audric Lucini made it a New Caledonian triathlon double when he cleared out from the field to win gold by over three minutes from Tahitian Benjamin Zorgnotti.
Lucini, the silver medallist from Noumea 2011, finished in 59:04, well ahead of Zorgnotti’s 1:02.11 with Mathieu Szalamacha of New Caledonia taking bronze in 1:03.41.
Twenty-year-old Zorgnotti, who finished fifth at Noumea 2011 as a 16-year-old, was pleased with his performance.
“I am a young athlete, but I am happy with what I did,” Zorgnotti said. “I know that I am better at swimming because I finished close behind the New Caledonian (Lucini) but he was better at cycling.”New Caledonia won both team events as well.
New Caledonia also took the mixed team gold medal based on a combination of the best three placings across both individual events. Tahiti won silver with Guam grabbing bronze.
The team medals will be presented at a 10:00 victory ceremony on Monday at the Naval Base venue.
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