Vanuatu

Vanuatu looks to host the 2027 Pacific Games

After successfully hosting the 2017 Pacific Mini Games, Pacific Games Council CEO Andrew Minogue says Vanuatu has already expressed their interest in hosting the games.

"It appears that they're looking to use these mini games as a possible springboard to host the main ones," he says. "That's what the Minister said at the closing ceremony, they'd like to bid for the 2027 [games] in 10 years time."

Tiny Tokelau makes a big mark at Mini Games

The New Zealand territory, which has a local population of just 1500, only sent one athlete to the 2015 Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea and had initially planned to send nobody to the Mini Games in Vanuatu.

But Ilai Elekana Manu, who has won eight Oceania medals representing Tokelau in wrestling, said he had a chance encounter with Pacific Games Council CEO Andrew Minogue at an ONOC (Oceania National Olympic Committees) meeting earlier this year, which motivated him to try and put together a team.

In perfect snyc for gold

In the heart of Korman complex, flags were waving in the crowd as para-athletes took their spot on the starting line, ready to take off at the sound of the starting gun.

Sylvain Bova, a vision impaired runner from New Caledonia, was positioned in lane one and took his mark with his guide, Germain Haewegene, by his side as they prepared to sprint for gold in the Men’s 100m ambulant final.

Twelve seconds and thirteen milliseconds later, they crossed the finish line in perfect sync with each matching the other’s stride.

PNG finish second and third at qualifiers

The men’s team went down to Fiji 2-1 (21-18, 21-18, 15-8) in what was a highly entertaining encounter.

But it was the Fijians who came back strong to win the deciding final set to book their spot at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Third place in the men’s went to Solomon Islands.

The Fijian women’s team will also be joining their men’s team in Gold Coast next year after defeating Solomon Islands 2-0 in the final playoff.

Solomon Islands settled for second place at the qualifiers while PNG finished third.

Women's football wows the crowd despite Vanuatu's scoreless draw

The showpiece of the night was a tough match between front-runners Vanuatu and Fiji that ended 0-0.

Vanuatu had been looking to build on their 5-0 opening win over Solomon Islands, while Fiji had recorded the same score over Tonga in their opener.

However this match proved a far closer contest. Both teams were very strong and had several chances.

The crowd cheered wildly with Fiji, as well as the home side, drawing strong support.

In the earlier match, Tonga defeated Solomon Islands 3-1 to the delight of Tonga’s excitable fans.

Fiji, Solomons men put perfect start to the test

The Fijians thrashed Tuvalu 8-0 in Saturday's opening round, while Solomon Islands racked up the same scoreline against Tonga.

Fiji coach Christophe Gamel said despite the lopsided scoreline they made a number of big mistakes, which they couldn't afford to repeat against the Bonitos.

"We know their values, they are technical players. Let's see, it will be interesting for the youth also and for me to compete against this team, it's always interesting," Gamel said.

Solomon Islands coach Felipe Vega-Arango is taking more of a long term approach.

Vanuatu proud to host Pacific Mini Games

“For the past six years we have been preparing for this night and the next 12 days of the games,” Simeon Seule addressed the crowds and leaders during the opening ceremony yesterday.

“We have had challenges that everyone acknowledges but with the people and the Vanuatu Government, firmly supporting the games, we have overcome those challenges and now stand ready to hosts the Pacific and deliver those games for the athletes, spectators and broadcast viewers to the highest standards,” he said.

10th Pacific Mini Games underway, thanks to late Joe Carlo

Thanks to the foresight and vision of the late Joe Borman Carlo, former president of Vanuatu Sports Association and National Olympic Committee (VASANOC).

“Joe led the successful bid of this Games,” said Vidya Lakhan, president of the Pacific Games Council.

The late Joe Carlo was part of the 4th Pacific Mini Games held in Vila in 1993 and was chairman of the VAN2017 Games Organising Committee when he passed away last year.

“While we miss him deeply, the success of these games will be a testament to his sporting legacy.”

Mini Games focuses on development

In order to address one of its key Sustainable Development Goals for the event, the Van2017 LOC has created Em Pawa, a counterpart to the Games’ official mascot Nasi.

Em Pawa will be an advocate for messages of equality and non-discrimination, non-violence, supporting of positive and healthy decisions, encouraging others to challenge gender stereotypes, and promote positive change in the home, workplace, community and country.

Pacific Mini Games kick off on a high note

With a crowd fit for the Olympics and spirits high, the rainy weather was not enough to dampen the excitement of players and spectators.

Rain did nothing to slow down the matches as Fiji claimed the first Pacific Mini Games victory after defeating Tuvalu with a score of 8-0.

A 3-0 win in favour of the Solomon Islands against Tonga proved that the games will only get better and more exciting from that point onwards.