NMI women take bronze in V12 after PNG disqualification

Posted on Jun 21 2022


Some members of Team NMI women’s va’a crew pose for a photo before their V12 500m race yesterday in the shores of the 13 Fishermen Monument. (LEIGH GASES)

The outrigger canoe competition of the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022 got underway yesterday with the NMI women’s V12 salvaging the bronze and New Caledonia topping the V1 and V12 races in the waters off the 13 Fishermen Monument.

The NMI women’s V12 500m team took the bronze after Papua New Guinea was disqualified from the race due to a start fault and for finishing outside their designated lane. Tahiti won the gold in the women’s V12 with Guam getting silver.

NMI national coach Justin Andrew said after the race that the team “performed to what I expected them to perform and beyond that. They did very well in competing against the top teams in the Pacific.”

He stated further that yesterday’s race is a prelude to today’s race, “although the format will be a little bit different. We’ll see more agility, more teamwork on the flags, because it’s going to involve turning. And so, we pray for good weather.”

Over in the men’s races, the gold medal for the final V1 500m sprint went to New Caledonia’s Albert Mainquet with a time of 2:11.23, as New Caledonia dominated and upset Mini Games previous winner Tahiti in both the V1 500m and the V12 500m.

Coach and father of New Caledonia’s V1 men’s winner, Philippe Mainquet was interviewed through an interpreter, Fabian Dihn, chef de mission of team New Caledonia, who said that he feels “very proud because New Caledonia won against Tahiti and because he is the coach and father of the winner.”

He further said that his son has been training every day over the course of the last six to seven years.

When asked what to expect in today’s races, Mainquet said through his interpreter that they came to Saipan for gold. “Tahiti is good but the coach and his team came here for gold,” said Dihn.

After New Caledonia’s win in the men’s V12 500m sprint, Tahiti was seen still in good spirits, as Tahiti women’s team bagged gold in both V1 and V12 races, with times of 2:31.45 and 2:08.28 respectively.

Tahiti coach Titini Teihoarii, through interpreter Tetuhauarii Suhas, said about losing to New Caledonia that “there is no secret. There were three big teams, they were all ready and there’s one winner.” As for their expectations for today’s races, he said that “we’re prepared. We’re sure New Caledonia is prepared so we’ll see what happens.”

In the current standings for women’s V1 500m, Tahiti won gold, Fiji won silver, and Norfolk Island won bronze.

For the women’s V12 500m, Tahiti won gold and Guam won silver.

Tahiti won silver and Fiji won bronze in the men’s V1 500m.

Lastly, Tahiti won silver and Wallis and Futuna won bronze in the men’s V12 500m.

Leigh Gases
Leigh Gases is the youngest reporter of Saipan Tribune and primarily covers community related news, but she also handles the utilities, education, municipal, and veterans beats. Contact Leigh at leigh_gases@saipantribune.com.

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