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Wednesday 22 November 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Pacific Games 2023, Sports, Swimming


Connolly swims for first gold medal
Cook Islands Lanihei Connolly won gold (33.21 seconds) for her 50m breaststroke final at the Pacific Games in Honiara, Solomon Islands on Monday night. LOSIRENE LACANIVALU / 23112204

Lanihei Connolly has clinched her first gold medal after swimming to the finish line leaving Fiji with silver and Papua New Guinea with bronze.

On Monday night (Tuesday Solomon Islands time), Connolly took on the challenge in the 50 metres breaststroke final winning gold, and this was said to be a rare change in the gold medal awards.

Connolly claimed victory with a time of 33.21 seconds, as Fiji’s Kelera Mudunasuoko (33.42) picked up silver and Papua New Guinea’s Georgia-Leigh Vele (34.75) settled for bronze.

It was said to be the only event of the night where New Caledonia did not win a medal.

Connolly told Cook Islands News: “I'm very proud to have won my first Pacific Games medal for the Cook Islands and I'm very happy that it's a goal, especially since the competitors were so strong and tough.”

Connolly said before going into the finals on Monday night, she just tried to be confident in herself and her training.

Connolly continues to acknowledge her family back home and abroad for their support.

Connolly competed in the 50m freestyle yesterday and results could not be published when this article went to press.

Losirene Lacanivalu at the Pacific Games