First golds awarded at Pacific Mini Games as hosts enjoy tennis success

Hosts Northern Mariana Islands and Papua New Guinea won the first gold medals of this year’s Pacific Mini Games with team tennis titles in Saipan.

Less than 24 hours after the Opening Ceremony of the Games, the host nation topped the podium to deliver home success.

The Northern Mariana Islands’ men’s tennis team overcame Vanuatu 2-1 at the American Memorial Park.

Vanuatu silenced the home crowd when they won the opening singles match as Clement Mainguy defeated Robbie Schorr 6-4, 6-0.

But the Northern Mariana Islands hit back in emphatic fashion with Colin Sinclair producing a stunning display in his 6-0, 6-1 thrashing of Aymeric Mara.

Schorr had suffered from cramps in his singles defeat but bounced back to help his team to win gold alongside the in-form Sinclair.

The pair came out firing, winning the opening set without dropping a game before completing a 6-0, 6-2 triumph against Mainguy and Mara.

The Northern Mariana Islands was not the first nation to win gold of the 2022 Pacific Mini Games.

That honour went to Papua New Guinea as the country’s women’s tennis team defeated Fiji to take the title.

Baseball action also took place today with Fiji and Guam going head-to-head before the Northern Mariana Islands faced Palau at the Tan Ko’ Palacios Baseball Field.

Palau proved too strong for the hosts as they powered into a 11-0 lead before completing a 13-2 demolition job, while Guam were just as emphatic in a 13-3 victory over Fiji.