Port Vila, Vanuatu, December 6, 2017 – Cook Islands, Fiji, Kirabati, Papua New Guinea, Tavalu, Soloman Islands and hosts Vanuatu are testing their mettle in the Oceania Commonwealth Games Beach Volleyball Qualification Tournament, vying for the men’s and women’s titles and berths to compete in the Commonwealth Games in Australia next April.
The three-day competition kicked off on Wednesday at the newly purpose-built Beach Volleyball Centre at Korman here.
The day opened with an amazing three-set match between Cook Islands’ B. Heath/D. Heath and Tuvalu’s Ata/Saaga in the men’s event. The action continued with both genders throughout the day. The weather also played a part changing from hot and sunny to the cooler evening matches under lights and a torrential downpour in the middle of the day that is common in the rainy season.
Highlight of the day was the men’s tussle between Vanuatu’s Chilia/Aru and Tuvalu’s Ata/Saaga, another three-set thriller which saw Chilia and Aru claim the hard-fought 21-14, 10-21, 15-8 win in front of the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Mr Charlot Salwai, himself a volleyball player and a big fan of the sport.
Day I saw Cook Island’s B. Heath/D. Heath take the initial lead in Pool A, with Vanuatu and Tuvalu in second and third places respectively, while Papua New Guinea’s Mea/Kilarupa captured the pole position in Pool B ahead of Fiji, Kiribati and Solomon Islands.
In the women’s event, Vanuatu have already qualified for the Commonwealth Games as a result of their impressive performances on the FIVB World Tour. So in the women’s Pool, Fiji lead Pool A with 4 points from 2 wins against no loss. Tuvalu, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati and Solomon Islands are trailing in second, third, fourth and fifth places respectively.
Action continues on Thursday to complete the men’s pool play, with a single elimination series taking place in the afternoon. The women’s event continues their single round-robin competition.
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