PNG rewrite history in table tennis at Games


DESPITE settling for silver, the table tennis pair of Geoffrey Loi and Gasika Simoi hav re-written history for PNG in the sport.
The two men defeated regional table tennis super powers, New Caledonia comfortably in the semifinal to secure a place for the gold medal play off against Vanuatu which they lost and picked up silver medal.
The last time PNG won a medal in the men’s doubles competition was during the 1987 Pacific Games when current coach, Rea Loi and his teammates Timo Vali, John Yareki and Loa Hegame won bronze.
Loi and Vali won bronze again in the same event at the 1991 Pacific Games in Port Moresby.
Geoffrey Loi is Rea’s youngest son and has been a leading player for PNG.
In the men’s para table tennis, Hoada Agari lost to New Caledonia 3-0 but won the bronze medal.
Geoffrey Loi teamed up with Loa Mabel Chris in the mixed doubles against Vanuatu’s Alan Lam and Liopa Santhy, who were too strong, defeating PNG 3-0.
In the women’s doubles Idau Chris and Loa Chris beat Tuvalu to advance to the quarter finals but went down to New Caledonia.
Despite a brave fight in the Oceania beach volleyball qualifiers for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the PNG duo of Moha Mea and Richard Kilarupa went down to Fiji 2-1.
Fiji won the first set (21-18) but the PNG boys fought back to take the second set 21-18. They continued the onslaught in the final set but could not stop the fast finishing Fijians. The win guarantees Fiji a spot in the Commonwealth Games next year in Gold Coast, Australia.
In the women’s match the PNG women also lost to Fiji missing a spot for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Both teams are now focusing on their competitions for the 10th Pacific Mini Games.
The PNG Karate team claimed five medals – two silver and three bronze – on their first day of competition on Saturday.
The silver medals went to Vincent Bougen in the men’s -84kg and Crystal Mari in the women’s 60kg kumite (sparring). The bronze medals went to Nigel Bana in the men’s 60kg kumite and Cosmas Saliawali and Crystal Mari in the men’s and women’s individual kata respectively.
Meanwhile, the PNG golf teams are running second in the teams and individual men’s competition and fourth in the women’s individual event.
Medal play-offs for golf will begin today.