Tuvalu overcome 3-day voyage to spring beach volleyball surprise

Team Tuvalu spent three days travelling by boat to compete at the Samoa 2019 XVI Pacific Games, but it didn’t stop their men’s beach volleyball pair recording a surprise win over reigning champions Papua New Guinea.

In Tuesday’s pool matches at Apia Waterfront, Tuvalu’s Saaga Malosa and Amalamo Talake defeated PNG’s Richard Batari and Loi Walo in straight sets, although the PNG pair are not the same players that won gold at the Port Moresby XV 2015 Pacific Games.

Along with the rest of Team Tuvalu, Malosa and Talake endured a three-day voyage to reach Samoa. They only arrived on Saturday before attending Sunday night’s opening ceremony and going straight into action on Monday.

 “This is our first Pacific Games and before this we had only competed in the Vanuatu 2017 Pacific Mini Games,” revealed Malosa.

"Most of our preparations were done back home in Tuvalu, but we also played at the Arafura Games in Darwin, Australia which prepared us for this event.

"We would like to encourage everyone to love and play this sport of beach volleyball and, most of all, have fun,” Malosa added.

In Tuesday’s other men’s matches Kiribati beat Northern Mariana Islands 2-0, Samoa beat Palau 2-0, Tahiti beat Cook Islands 2-0, Tonga beat American Samoa 2-0 and Guam beat New Caledonia 2-0.

In Wednesday morning’s women’s matches American Samoa defeated Australia 2-1, Solomon Islands beat New Caledonia 2-0, Samoa beat Palau 2-1, and American Samoa beat Solomon Islands 2-0.

Beach volleyball runs until Friday 12 July at Apia Waterfront.


Photo credit: Pacific Games News Service/Sue Rasmussen. Caption: Tuvalu's men's beach volleyball pair, Saaga Malosa and Amalamo Talake