Mitiaro's Peter Marsters look for option against the opposition defenders in the touch rugby competition yesterday at National Stadium in Nikao. Pic: Ronnie Siulepa/20100706.
Competition intensifies as island teams fight tooth and nail for medals at the Cook Islands Games.
Aitutaki remains the top favourites for the overall Cook Islands Games title after taking a commanding early lead on the open’s medal tally.
After day three competition on Tuesday, Aitutaki had six gold medals, one silver and two bronze medals.
All of their gold medals have come from the aquatics event from swimmers Tem Strickland and Dani Adendorff, who grabbed three gold medals each.
A number of gold medal playoffs in lawn bowls, basketball 3x3, boxing and touch rugby were held yesterday and matches were still underway when this edition went to print last night.
After day three competitions, Aitutaki was leading on 22 points followed by Rarotonga on 10 points – three silver and four bronze medals.
Team Tongareva who grabbed two gold and a silver medal had eight points while Mangaia with three silver and a bronze medal had seven points.
Team Aitutaki has 130 athletes who have come from the island for these Games. The rest are Rarotonga based.
Team official Nga Puna earlier said: “We Aitutakians are proud people. We already think we will smash the other teams. So, we will go out there and represent our island with pride, give it our best and leave everything on the field.”
In sailing, top Manihiki sailors Issac Samson, Henare Poiri, Koteka Makira and Muriel Karaponga took to the water this week to battle for gold.
Manihiki Sailing treasurer and media officer Jean-Marie Williams says: “Because of the high costs to get a team of sailors to Aitutaki to compete, it was decided each island will compete where they are – at the same time and day, and the same course distance”.
The results of the races will be forwarded to Cook Islands Sailing for analysis. The final race today will also determine Manihiki’s overall and youth champion.
Meanwhile Vaka Marumaru Atua of the Cook Islands Voyaging Society will start racing this morning from Avarua harbour from 9am with Mangaia taking on Tongareva. In the afternoon Manihiki versus Atiu races will be held.
At 8.30am tomorrow, Rarotonga will take on Mitiaro while at 11.45am Mauke faces Pukapuka. On Saturday, Palmerston will test their skills against Aitutaki.
Sailing at the Rarotonga Sailing Club in Muri starts from 7.30am. The Bic class will be racing as part of the Club’s Class Champs and the Cook Islands Games. The first race starts at 9.25am.
Badminton starts from 4pm at the National Sports Arena alongside the table tennis competition.