For the first time in the decorated history of the Pacific Games, three women’s boxing gold medalists were crowned at the iconic event on the fourth competition day as the women’s Flyweight (51 kg), Lightweight (60 kg) and Middleweight (75 kg) finals delighted the watching crowd in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
In addition to the women’s finals, the men’s semi-finals also took place on a very busy day.
Gold medal winners from the women’s competition
- 51 kg: Philo Magaiva, Papua New Guinea
- 60 kg: Jennifer Chieng, Federated States of Micronesia
- 75 kg: Debbie Kaore, Papua New Guinea
Bout of the day
Tonga’s Sepasitiano Hurrell Lavemai engaged in a classic final four battle with defending Super Heavyweight (91+ kg) champion Jake Ageidu, and eliminated the Nauru boxer after their entertaining match.
Lavemai used excellent attacks throughout the contest despite a brave effort from Ageidu, and has now qualified for the gold medal bout where he will meet Tahiti’s National Champion Ariitea Putoa.
Team of the day
Papua New Guinea won seven bouts on the fourth competition day, including two historic gold medals for their women athletes.
Flyweight (51 kg) Philo Magaiva achieved the first women’s boxing gold medal in the history of the competition via walkover after Tahiti’s Taraina Rataro Tuihaa was unable to compete.
Debbie Kaore then defeated Tahiti’s Edith Tavanae in the women’s Middleweight (75 kg) final to earn the second gold medal for the host nation.
Papua New Guinea’s men’s boxers were also successful today, beginning with a strong win for Charles Keama over Vanuatu’s Jean Leonce Nauka at Light Flyweight (49 kg).
Commonwealth Games competitor Henry Umings continued the winning path for the host nation at Bantamweight (56 kg) after he eliminated Vanuatu’s Boe Warawara.
Team captain Tom Boga edged a tight Light Welterweight (64 kg) semi-final with Tahiti’s Jordan Tuihaa, while further winners from the host nation included Thadius Katua (60 kg) and Jonathan Keama (75 kg).
Surprise of the day
Federated States of Micronesia’s Jennifer Chieng arrived to the Pacific Games as a relatively unknown athlete, but she will leave Port Moresby as the women’s Lightweight (60 kg) champion after a fantastic tournament.
Chieng’s final opponent was the powerful Raphaela Baki, but Micronesia’s new hero worked hard from the opening seconds where her close range hooks and uppercuts frequently reached the target.
The previously unheralded sensation used similar tactics in the remaining rounds to seal a memorable and emotional victory for herself and her proud nation.
One to watch
Kaisa Ioane is a talented boxer who took part in both the 2009 AIBA World Boxing Championships and the 2010 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships.
The 23-year-old is living up to his potential in the Pacific Games as he became Samoa’s lone boxing finalist after stopping Tahiti’s Terauri Rowan Taurei in the second round of their Lightweight (60 kg) semi-final.
Ioane will now battle Papua New Guinea’s Thadius Katua for the gold after he eliminated Nauru’s Alphonse Deireragea.
Fact of the day
The following nations have finalists remaining in the men’s competition:
- Papua New Guinea: 6 finalists
- Tahiti: 5 finalists
- Fiji: 3 finalists
- Nauru, North Caledonia: 2 finalists
- Samoa, Tonga: 1 finalist
All ten of the men’s finals will take place tomorrow on the last boxing competition day in Port Moresby.