PAPUA New Guinea made a clean sweep in squash singles winning gold medals in both the men’s and the women’s finals at the Pacific Mini Games in Raratonga, Cook Islands last Friday.
Top seed player, Barbara Stubbings confirmed her top seeding winning the gold medal in a good match 3-0 while Michael Rucklinger defeated Laurent Guepy 3-1 to win the men’s gold.
Stubbings proved too strong winning in straight sets 11-1, 11-4, and 11-8 against New Caledonian Marie-Pierre Leca who after a nervous start broke back in the third game but was too late for PNG’s champion.
The men’s gold medal play-off went down to the wire.
Rucklinger won the first set 11-8 but Guepy fought back to win the second 12-14.
But the Papua New Guinean got his head down to win the remaining two sets 11-8 and 11-5.
In a marathon innings Rucklinger’s touch proved to be the difference providing PNG’s top male squash player a decisive edge.
Another medal hopeful, Kristine Seko missed out on the bronze losing to Lucy Thompson from Samoa 3-1.
Thompson performed very well as Samoa’s number three in the team event and improved her game throughout to triumph over Seko who beat her in five sets in the team event
This competition was for first round losers from the plate division.
In the same divisional matchups Joe Yominao PNG defeated Fiji’s Fonmanu Rigamoto 3-2 in a gruelling five setter going 2-11, 11-4, 8-11, 12-10 and 14-12.
This match was very tight and Yaminao’s better experience gave him the edge over Rigamoto.
The plate final was for losers in the first round of the main event.
These players played from the first loss through in some cases four games to get to this final
In the women’s plate final, PNG’s Vanessa Nagul won over Samantha Morton of Fiji 3-0, 11-9, 11-1 and 11-6.