Top seeds Colin Sinclair and Robbie Schorr and the women’s No. 4 of Isabel Herras and Asia Raulerson advanced to the semis of the tennis doubles event of the Northern Marianas Pacific Games 2022 yesterday at the American Memorial Park tennis courts.
In the men’s singles, Sinclair also advanced to the Final Four after beating Fiji’s Sebastian Tikara, 6-1, 6-1. He will take on Tahiti’s Gillian Osmont who turned back Victor Lopes of New Caledonia, 6-3, 7-5.
Schorr wasn’t as fortunate though as he lost to No. 2 seed Matthew Stubbings, 5-7, 2-6. The PNG Davis Cup player will square off against Fiji’s William O’Connell in the semis after O’Connell ousted Vanuatu’s Clement Mainguy, 6-2, 6-2.
In the women’s singles, it will be an Apisah family affair as Papua New Guinea’s Abigal Tere-Apisah will take on niece Patricia in the upper half of the semifinals. Tere-Apisah advanced after a 6-1, 6-2 win over Vanuatu’s Lorraine Banimataku, while Patricia was a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Solomon Islands’ Zorika Dalice Morgan.
The other half of the women’s draw saw Violet Apisah book a semifinals seat after beating Samoa’s Eleanor Schuster, 6-2, 6-1. Her opponent will be Fiji’s Saoirse Breen who took out Herras, 6-0, 6-2.
In women’s doubles, Herras and Raulerson punched a semis ticket after triumphing over Schuster and Mahinarangi Warren, 6-0, 6-3. They will take on Breen and Ruby Coffin in the next round. The Apisah cousins are in the upper half of the draw and will play Tonga’s Ana Taminika and Ela Vakaukamea for a chance to go to the finals.
CNMI tennis national coach Jeff Race likes his players’ chances for medaling in the next couple of days.
“I think that we are in a good position to win some more medals. I think we have a good chance to get a medal in men’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles.”
CNMI men 4-0 in
Logan Mister and Andrew Johnson won their fourth straight game when they defeated Charles Zecharian Tarimel and Taro Texxon of Palau, 21-16, 21-9, last Tuesday night on the sand courts of Crowne Plaza.
“The Palau team is very strong, especially on their defensive end. We really respect their effort and attitude on the court as well. It was the first night game under the lights for us, but it went well. We were really looking for the win so that we’d come out first in our pool and get a straight seat in the quarter finals. We also want to give a huge thanks to the crowd for supporting and for firing us up,” said Johnson.
Mister said Tarimel and Texxon gave them a challenge especially early on.
“They were very crafty. We needed to be ready for everything. We played well but also hope to play with less errors in future matches. It was also great to have so many come out and support us. Happy to bring home a victory in front of the home crowd,” he said.
Kathy Winkfield and Charnessa Lizama faced off against Fiafialoto Tekela and Pressence Gladys of Wallis & Futuna yesterday and lost a tight one, 18-21, 19-21.
“They were a very strong team. We were both neck-and-neck and both testing each other and just trying to stay strong. We played well, a little minor mistakes but we gave our best, trying to stay focused but we are happy with the way we played, and even though we lost, we lost strong,” said Winkfield.
“They were good, they really brought their game and they fight hard and one thing about this game was that it also brought us the fire to kind of fight for the point and that was good. I felt the game was really intense but it was really good learning experience for me and my partner,” added Lizama.
Tahiti wins gold in badminton mixed event
In badminton, Tahiti won the gold medal of the mixed team event after topping the round-robin tournament at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
Tahiti coach Leo Cucuel said it’s the former French colony’s first ever gold medal in the sport of badminton, which came at the expense of New Caledonia. Both teams were 4-0 before their matchup yesterday.
“We are really proud because it’s the first time we won gold in the Pacific Games. We are really proud and the players did their job well….[the players] should enjoy the moment and I’m very proud of them.”
Kylium Scilloux feels fulfilled winning the gold medal for Tahiti.
“I’m very happy and I played really well today so I’m happy about today,” said the 23-year-old.
Team NMI, meanwhile, finished fourth, one notch better than their performance in the 2019 Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa. The team won two of its last three games via 5-0 sweeps.
Reid-Amaru lead golf
New Caledonia’s Guillame Castagne and Tahiti’s Flavia Reid-Amaru are atop the leaderboard in their respective men’s and women’s events in golf at the Coral Ocean Resort golf course. Castagne has a two-round total of 143, only a birdie up on Guam’s Ivan Sablan and Samoa’s Lio Vui. Reid-Amaru has shot a 153—ahead of New Caledonia’s Mohea Mansbendel and Ines Levelua-Tufele who are at 154 and 155, respectively. (With reports from Angel Li and Chrystal Marino)