The three strongest nations in squash from the Port Moresby 2015 Pacific Games look to be on track to dominate again here in Samoa.
Four years ago Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia and Fiji shared all 21 available medals between them.
After the men's and women's preliminary rounds played today at the Faleata Squash Courts, it would seem they could be medal contenders again in 2019.
Six nations are competing in this fast paced sport.
In the first match the Samoan team and Papua New Guinea team lit up the courts with strong support for the home team. It was an enjoyable game to watch with all players striving for the win.
Papua New Guinea team proved far too strong and won all four matches. The first match was Michael Rucklunger from PNG against Ivan Chewlit from Samoa. After a slow start, Rucklunger took the following three sets to win convincingly, 4-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-6.
The second match was between Semo Old from Samoa and Jnr Madako Suari from Papua New Guinea. Suari took out the match in straight sets, 5-11, 4-11, and 3-11.
"Samoa are a strong team and won gold medals in the last couple of the Pacific Games. I didn’t take it easy. I worked extra hard and had to pick up my confidence to do what I came here to do," said Suari.
The third match was between PNG's Christopher Witchurch and Samoa’s Chad Rankin.
Although it was another straight sets loss, the scores show how tightly contested the match was. Scores were 11-6, 11-8, 11-9, and 11-4.
Rankin, when asked what went wrong in the match today and what challenges he faces, laughingly said: “I think age is the problem, when going up against these young players. It’s a different game and it all comes down to fitness. I have to look at my games today and pick up on what went wrong. Hopefully I can use that and come up with win."
Lastly Jordan Chewlit from Samoa played against Lokes Brooksbank from PNG.
Whilst PNG once again took out the match, Chewlit was able to match it with the accomplished PNG player in the first set.
Scores were 11-13, 2-11, and 7-11.
Source: samoa2019 Games media
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