Samoa women beat Guam while archers aim high
Samoa women have continued their winning ways at the Pacific Games basketball competition with a dominant performance against Guam.
Azalleah Oloapu, Tyla Paraha, and Matthes Hildegard all shot the house down, while Fayreen Fualau was strong under the rim.
At her first Pacific Games, Hildegard was right at home in the Samoan line-up.
“I felt really comfortable within the team, and it was really fun,” Hildegard said. “It’s great to start the competition with a couple of wins.”
In their first hit-out of the competition, Fiji took care of business against the host nation, Solomon Islands, 82-43.
Matila Vocea finished with a double-double, while Letava Kenny, and Mili Koyamainavure showed leadership and poise in a comfortable win.
“I feel great to get the win and to get the first match out of the way, now we go back and refocus for our next match,” Koyamainavure said.
In her fourth Pacific Games, Koyamainavure said the team is shaping up to go deep into finals.
“Preparations have been good, we are focusing on one game at a time, we are done with the Solomon Islands so now our focus shifts to Guam.”
The Pacific Games Women’s Basketball Tournament is the official qualifiers of the Oceania region to the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup Division B.
Samoan archers are hoping for nothing less than a gold medal performance with a ticket to the Paris Olympics up for grabs in the Pacific Games archery recurve competition for the first time.
Teams have been giving it there all with team Samoa hoping to build on their success by claiming an Olympic spot.
Eliana Viali will be travelling to Honiara, as Samoa archery's strength and conditioning coach.
"Three of our recurve archers are really hoping to get a spot,” she told ABC.
"Oceania gets two spots to send to the Olympics, so we're really hoping for both spots but if not we're hoping for at least one spot," she said.
Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand will also be competing in the archery event at the Pacific Games for the first time.
Ms Viali says that also adds an extra element of pressure.
"I do think it's a mental game more than anything. I've had the priviledge of watching our team train for the past few months and I know their physical capability for shooting is amazing.
"We've worked on our mental game but I think once we get there we'll know how we really feel," she said.
The Samoan team have also been preparing for different weather conditions considering how technical the sport of archery is and how the wind and rain can easily influence the trajectory of the arrow.
Ms Viali says the team changed their training schedule in anticipation for the Honiara heat.
"Our archers normally train in the evening, but started training in the morning because the sun really impacts your shooting — we've all become particularly tanned and had to develop a tolerance to the sun," she said.
The Pacific Games will be hosted by Solomon Islands from November 19 – December 2, 2023.
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