Jil Walter wins Samoa's first Pacific Games gold

Jil Walter has won Samoa's first gold medal at the XVI Pacific Games in Samoa.

She claimed gold in archery on Tuesday at the Faleata Sports Complex, to the delight of Team Samoa and none other than one of the Games oldest and most famous athletes, Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi.

The 18-year-old shot the highest score for the women's recurve division with a total of 868 points.

Isabelle Dussol and Isabelle Soero of New Caledonia finished with 860 and 839 points respectively, giving them silver and bronze medals.

Walter was speechless when she was told that she is Samoa's first gold medalist at the Games.

"I’m a surprised actually," she said. "I’m just really happy to be given the opportunity to compete. I just wanted to shoot really well as my main goal in the games."

She is the second of Mua'ausa Joseph and Sasa'e Walter's children. Mua'ausa is the Samoa Archery Federation President, who was also competing in archery, in the men's recurve division.

Jil said she was introduced to the sport by her father, and has been shooting since she was nine years old. She is currently on a break from school as she took a four months training course in China with her teammates.

She also participated in the 2017 Pacific Mini Games, at Port Vila Vanuatu, 2018 Oceania's Youth Olympic Games and New Zealand Nationals.

Fiji's archer Robert George Elder claimed the men's recurve division, with Tahiti following close behind for silver and bronze, shot by Jean-Pierre Teiva Winkelstroeter and Thiry Tsuong Li Ing.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa also competed today. Naifoua Vise Timai of Team Samoa also won a bronze medal in the Women's compound division, with a score of 918 points.

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