NMI’s Pangilinan, Galvez debut vs Solomons pair
New Caledonia’s Carl N’guela and Lucas Juillot start at the top of the draw as first seeds, while the NMI’s Jordan Pangilinan and Andreau Galvez will face a Solomon Islands pair, as the men’s doubles games in the 2022 Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games kick off on June 23 at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
N’guela has a wealth of experience under his belt, first competing at the Continental Championships in 2008. He will assist the youthful Juillot, who got his first taste of international badminton at the more recent VICTOR Oceania Junior Championships 2019.
Meanwhile, Rémi Rossi won the gold in the 2019 Pacific Games alongside Rauhiri Goguenheim, but this year he will be competing with another experienced Pacific Games competitor, Leo Cucuel to form the second seeds. The Top 2 seeds will receive a bye into the quarterfinals.
Pangilinan, on the other hand, is the reigning national men’s doubles champion in the Northern Mariana Islands. He and partner Andreau Galvez will compete against Joseph Taupiri and Rodney Vaka of the Solomon Islands in the first round, with the winner going on to challenge Rossi and Cucuel.
Once again, Johanna Kou is the top seed. In 2019, she won the gold with Dgeniva Matauli ,but this year, she will be looking to defend her spot on top of the podium alongside Marine Souviat. Receiving a bye into the quarterfinals, they will take on Wallis and Futuna debutants Malia Takasi and Endrina Tukumuli Nau, who are the second seeds at the top half of the draw.
Tahiti’s Jenica Lesourd and Mélissa Mi You will team up as second seeds on the other end of the draw.
Solomon Islands have entered two pairs into the women’s doubles—Emma Soaki/Cathrine Temete and Elizabeth Meke/Norah Meke. All four players are making their Pacific Games debut and will open their campaigns against pairs from Tahiti and the NMI, respectively.
Rémi Rossi will be joining Mélissa Mi You to defend his gold from Samoa 2019, which he won with Coralie Bouttin. Their opening match will be against the Tuvalu debutants who are teaming up in the mixed doubles.
Johanna Kou, who won bronze in Samoa 2019 with Morgan Paitio, will team up with Carl N’guela. In her 2019 bronze medal playoff, Kou defeated New Caledonia’s Yohan De Geoffrey, who will be joining forces with the former’s previous doubles partner—Marine Souviat. De Geoffrey and Souviat are the event’s second seeds and are receiving a bye into the second round to take on Wallis and Futuna debutants Damien Coffin and Malia Takasi. (PR)