Colin Sinclair and Robbie Schorr justified their top billing by barging into the finals of the men’s tennis doubles of the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022 yesterday at the American Memorial Park tennis courts.
The No. 1 seeds beat Guam’s Aarman Sachdev and Camden Camacho, 6-1, 6-4, in the semifinals.
Waiting for them in the championship are familiar foes in Vanuatu’s Aymeric Mara and Clement Mainguy after the No. 3 seeds got the better of Fiji’s Sebastian Tikaram and William O’Connell, 6-2 7-5.
Sinclair and Schorr beat the Vanuatu pair in the rubber doubles of the team event last Saturday to give the CNMI its first gold medal of the Games.
Sinclair also advanced to the finals of the men’s singles after overcoming New Caledonia’s Gillian Osmont, 6-1 6-2.
His opponent for all the marbles will be Papua New Guinea’s Matthew Stubbings who outlasted Fiji’s William O’Connell, 6-4 7-6 (2). Sinclair and Stubbings were teammates in the Pacific Oceania team that played Estonia in the Davis Cup Group II earlier this year.
In the women’s singles semifinals, PNG’s Abigail Tere-Apisah gave her niece, Patricia Apisah, a neat lesson on the tennis court following a 6-0 6-0 win.
She will face another of her nieces in the finals after Violet Apisah dispatched Fiji’s Saoirse Breen, 6-4 6-3.
The CNMI lost in the women’s doubles semis after Isabel Herras and Asia Raulerson extended Breen and Ruby Coffin to a third set before losing gallantly, 3-6, 6-4, 10-8.
Sinclair and Herras also succumbed to a similar fate in the mixed doubles after the fourth seeds lost steam against No. 1 seed Stubbings and Violet Apisah, 3-6, 6-3, 10-7.
The PNG pair’s opponent in the finals will be O’Connell and Breen after the Fijians beat No. 2 Abigail Tere-Apisah and Mark Gibbons, 3-6 7-6(6) 10-8.
CNMI national tennis coach Jeff Race said despite losing in the semis, he hopes to see Herras and Raulerson have a podium finish.
“That’s sports. All we can do is try our best. As long as we do that we can hold our heads high. I would really like to see the girls win tomorrow.”
Mister, Johnson into beach v-ball semis
Logan Mister and Andrew Johnson advanced to the semifinals of the men’s beach volleyball competition yesterday over at the Crowne Plaza sand courts, but not after being extended to a rubber set by New Caledonia.
Mister and Johnson drew first blood with a 21-16 win in the first set, but New Caledonia’s Loic Ue and Jonathan Taoupoulou fought tooth and nail in the second to extend it to a deciding third set, 26-24. Team NMI, however, wouldn’t be denied as Mister and Johnson booked the semis ticket with a 15-8 win in the final set.
Coach Tyce Mister was ecstatic seeing his boys—Logan is actually his son—make the semifinals.
“I feel awesome, so that put us into the semifinals. So, that puts us in the Top 4 teams.”
Johnson said New Caledonia was the best team they played so far in the Games. «
“They were very good. We did some scouting online from the Games that they post on YouTube and tried to figure out what their game plan was but they were really good at going over on two and we weren’t super ready for that, but overall it was a very intense game and we ended up pulling off the win. I think we were just hungrier for the goal than they were and we just gotta continue moving forward with that hunger,” he said.
For Mister, the 6’6” tower of power of the NMI, said it was a puzzle trying to defend New Caledonia early on.
“I couldn’t figure out how to block the guy so I was pretty upset about that but we played well and we ended up winning so that’s good.”
Guerrero, Pangelinan exact revenge on Wallis & Futuna
In badminton, Nathan Guerrero and Janelle Pangilinan exacted some revenge on the team that denied them the bronze in mixed team event by beating Wallis & Futuna’s Julien Dauptain and Leilana Likuvalu, 21-14 21-16, in the mixed doubles.
Michaella Serrano also followed her teammates’ lead by topping Leilana Likuvalu, 21-10 21-8, in the women’s singles.
Malia Takasi and Corentin Likiliki of Wallis & Futuna got their team back on the winning track by topping Windy Fernandez and Leonard Manuel, 21-9 21-12 and 21-21-15, 21-9, respectively.
Zhimin leads women’s golf
The CNMI’s Zhimin Jin zoomed atop the leaderboard in the women’s division of the golf competition at the Coral Ocean Resort golf course. The 15-year-old Marianas High School student currently has a three-round total of 233 to lead New Caledonia’s Ines Levelua-Tufele by a shot and Samoa’s Faith Vui by two shots.
“My ball striking was on point and had several lucky shots. I also made several good putts that saved my score today,” said Jin.
Jin said she’s hoping to even play better today.
“I’m not too sure what to expect for tomorrow but I’m confident to say that I’ll do my best and play better than today.”
Over in the men, New Caledonia’s Hugo Koch is in the lead with a 219 after 54 holes, followed by Guam’s Radge Camacho and Ivan Sablan with identical 121s.
In the team competition, New Caledonia is ahead in the women’s field with a score of 720, while New Caledonia and Guam share the men’s team leaderboard with scores of 662.
Triathletes place fourth in mixed team
In the mixed team relay of the triathlon event on Rota, Team NMI finished fourth with a time of 1:46.45. New Caledonia came in first and was followed by Tahiti and Fiji. The course started with a 300m swim followed by a 7km bike before concluding with a 1.5km run.
Tahiti dominates anew in va’a
Tahiti dominated the va’a races yesterday in the waters off the 13 Fishermen Memorial Monument after striking gold in both men’s and women’s V1 marathon competitions.
For the men’s competition, Tuheiarii Bernadino finished the race with a time of 1:35:06; a full 4 minutes ahead of silver medalist Benjamin Legavre of New Caledonia, and 12 minutes ahead of Clayton Horsfall of Fiji.
NMI’s Carter Calma took sixth place with a time of 2:06:18, paddling past Palau’s Mac Sasao to the finish line with a three-minute difference.
Vaimiti Maoni also claimed another gold medal for Tahiti in the women’s V1 competition, winning the competition with a time of 1:46:30. Maoni commented that the course had been slightly difficult, especially with the unfavorable winds, but she persevered, and in the end, while taking advantage of the surf, she made it first. “I made my race and I’m so happy to win this [part of the] Mini Games.”
Beating Palau’s Uroi Salii by a slight 6 seconds, NMI’s Heather Calderwood came in sixth place with a time of 2:14:03.
The V6 long distance races today concludes the va’a competition of the Games. (with reports from Angel Li and Chrystal Marino)