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Thursday 8 September 2011 | Published in Regional


Manihiki sailing prodigy Helema Williams has won the Cook Islands first gold medal at the Pacific Games in Noumea.

In fact, the Cook Islands sailing team won two gold and two silver medals at the games yesterday in front of a group of proud Cook Islands supporters who beat the pate and pau with elation as tears of joy streamed down the faces of both the sailors and supporters.

Williams joined fellow female sailor Teau McKenzie to win the gold medal in the womens team division from the combination of their best wins while Teau won silver in the individual division after being elevated to the position after a count back of her best wins over the regatta.

The teams second silver medal came from male laser standard sailors Taua Elisa and Junior Charlie who didnt make the podium in the individual division but their best scores combined over the regatta were enough to secure the duo a silver medal in the teams event.

Overall Elisa came 4th in the division and Charlie placed 5th.

The sailing medals now take the Cook Islands total medal tally to 12 2 gold medals from sailing, 6 silver medals including 2 from sailing, one from the womens V6 20km oe vaka marathon and 3 from weightlifter Sam Pera Jnr, and 4 bronze medals from oe vaka for the V6 500m sprints and Tupuna Amo in the V1 15km race, 1 from golfing prodigy Elmay Viking and a final bronze medal won by Muri boxer Eddie Daniel.

The Cook Islands are unlikely to win any more medals although beach volleyball and squash players are still playing out their tournament while field athlete Tereapii Tapoki will be the last to compete in the open womens shot put on Saturday before the closing ceremony of the games.