Women boxers to set Pacific Games first

Women will compete in boxing for the first time at a Pacific Games when the Port Moresby 2015 Pacific Games competition begins at Caritas Technical Secondary School tomorrow (on July 14).

The watershed moment for women in the boxing came when it was added to the London 2012 Olympic Games program.

Since 2012, women have featured at other large events like the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, and at the recent 2015 European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan.

In Port Moresby, women will compete across three weight categories, while the men will fight at 10 weight limits.

At the most recent Pacific Games in New Caledonia in 2011, Tahiti dominated the medal count with four gold, two silver and one bronze.

New Caledonia and Nauru were the second and third most successful Pacific Games Associations (PGAs) at that edition of the Games.

Host Papua New Guinea has been traditionally the strongest nation in the lightest two weight categories.

Since 1999, PNG has won every gold medal, apart from lightweight in 2011, where its athlete was disqualified for being late to the final.

The other nation to look out for in the heavier weight categories is Samoa. Since 1999, Samoa has won 12 of the 44 gold medals on offer, more than any other PGA in that time frame.

The semifinalists take to the ring on Friday, July 17, and the 13 gold medals will be awarded on Saturday, July 18.