New Zealand’s under-18 team topped the medal standings of the 2008 Oceania Championships, which ended Saturday at the Oleai Track and Field.
The Kiwis added eight more gold medals in the final day of competition, a perfect bookend to New Zealand’s campaign in the area championships.
The Kiwis also snapped up the first women’s gold and silver in Day 1 of the competitions in Cross Country last Wednesday.
New Zealand, which took their much-deserved tour of Saipan’s historic and tourist sites yesterday, wound up with 17 gold medals to go along with its 10 silver and six bronze.
Michael Cochrane began the Kiwis’ final day charge, bagging a gold medal by topping the men’s under-18 400m hurdles with a time 54.69. He was followed by the 54.75 of Andy Lui of Tonga and the 65.67 of Guam’s Malenchov Towai.
Joel Armstrong also proved true to his surname, winning the men’s under-18 400m sprint (49.63). Australia’s Dean Searles took the silver (50.32) with Kiribati’s Kiakia Tekambw winning the bronze (52.10).
Laura Nagel, who won the Cross Country, and Emily Kinsler then finished 1-2 in the women’s under-18 1500m by crossing the finish line in 4:39.51 and 5:04.21, respectively. Vanuatu’s Nori Tubas finished third with a time of 5:33.97.
Tom Hall gave the Kiwis their fourth gold medal of the day when he took the men’s under-18 1500m competition (4:24.14), followed by Palau’s Douglas Schmidt (4:28.68) and Guam’s Christopher Magtoto (4:30.89). Schmidt’s medal was Palau’s first and only medal of the Championships.
Kathryn Kennedy moments later added another gold by winning the women’s under-18 triple jump with a leap of 11.07m. Guam’s Pollara Cobb took second with her 10.02m with Jacque Wonenberg winning the bronze with her 9.66m.
Olivia Blundell and Alex Jordan capped New Zealand’s golden campaign in the Championships by adding first-place finishes in the under-18 100m sprints.
Blundell won the women’s century dash in a time of 12.87. Cobb was second with her 12.92, while Tonga’s Vasi Feke was third with her 13.05.
Jordan, for his part, topped the men’s under-18 100m by tearing the tape in 11.38. Tonga’s Lui and Australia’s Daniel McLean came in second and third with times of 11.50 and 11.55, respectively.
Fiji leapfrogged past Australia in the medal standings, winding up with 11 gold medals as well eight silver and three bronze.
Louey Frank started things out for the Fijians, winning gold in the men’s triple jump with a leap of 14.23m. Kainric Ozoux of New Caledonia was second (14.05m) and Sandy Katsule of Papua New Guinea third (13.99m).
Me Isoa also continued his strong performance in the Championships by winning the men’s 200m sprint in a time of 21.93. Countryman Setareki Tikosaya came in second (22.02) with Australia’s Jay Stone finishing third (22.08).
Fiji also struck gold in the women’s under-18 400m after Paulinin Korowaqa came in first with a time of 57.81. She was followed by Kiwis Vicky Paine (57.83) and Kennedy (59.00).
Iowane Dovumatua, Satereki, Louey, and Me then added the men’s 4x100m relay gold to Fiji’s overall medal haul with a run of 42.01. Papua New Guinea runners came in second with their 42.71 with Australia placing third with a 42.84.
Samoa was another country that finished ahead of powerhouse Australia, finishing with 10 gold, three silver, and a bronze. The 2005 Oceania Championships host won two more gold medals Saturday with Beijing Olympics-bound Aunese Curreen winning the men’s 1500m with a time of 3:58.76. Fiji’s Isireli Naikekekevesi was second (4:03.79) and Guam’s Derek Mendel third (4:05.79).
Vincent Lasei also won a gold for Samoa in the final day of competition by topping the men’s under-18 shot put with a hurl of 15.49m. New Zealand’s William Hubber finished second (14.26) and Cook Islands’ Denis Taripo third (13.66).
Australia closed out the area championships with nine gold, 11 silver, and five bronze medals to its name. Athletes from the Land Down Under didn’t win a gold medal Saturday.
Papua New Guinea also had an outstanding final day on the track as Mae Koime, Toea Wisil, and Betty Burua finished 1-2-3 in the women’s 200m sprint. Komei checked in at 24.11, followed shortly by the 24.45 and 25.05 of Wisil and Burua.
The three then teamed up with Sharon Henry to win the women’s 4x100m relay with a time of 47.27. Fiji came in second (49.24) with Australia third (49.92).
Sharon also won a gold of her own when she won the women’s 400m hurdles in a time of 61.83. Tonga’s Lata Tuifutuna (71.07) and Kiribati’s Kaitinano Mwemweata (1:21.71) finished second and third.
Salome Dell also made her presence felt for the Melanesian country’s athletics squad, topping the women’s 1500m in 4:40.39, followed by Guam’s Nicole Layson (5:25.92) and Tonga’s Malia’Aneta Patolo (5:45.27).
Mowen Boino, meanwhile, topped the men’s 400m hurdles, clocking in at 52.07. He was followed by Fiji’s Jone Wainiqolo (55.79) and Guam’s Kenneth Karosich (57.02).
New Caledonia bagged two more gold medals Saturday with Christopher Igorra winning the men’s under-18 long jump (6.63m), followed by the 6.62m of New Zealand’s John Kendall and the 6.52m of fellow Kiwi Nick Gerard.
Daniel Kilama also cemented his reputation as the Championships’ strongest man when he won the men’s discus with a throw of 48.06m. Rooarii Pito of Tahiti took the silver (47.51m) and Kilama’s countryman, Yann Fuluhea, the bronze (45.04m).
New Caledonia finished with a haul of four gold, three silver, and two bronze medals.
Cook Islands’ Tereapii Tapoki and Daniel Tutai also won gold medals for the host of the 2009 Pacific Mini Games.
Tapoki won the women’s discus (50.59m), followed by Taseli Iva Satupai of Samoa (46.57m) and Perle Buard of Tahiti (30.82).
Tutai, for his part, won the men’s javelin throw (52.76m) with countryman Denis Taripo winning the silver (46.27m).
Cook Islands went on to win two gold, three silver, and five bronze medals.
Making up the rest of the medal standings are Guam (4 gold, 6 silver, and 13 bronze), Tahiti (4-6-5), Tonga (1-7-5), CNMI (1-6-9), Solomon Islands (1-2-2), Kiribati (1-1-2), Norfolk Islands (1-0-1), Palau (one silver), Vanuatu (two bronze), and Nauru (one bronze).