Twelve semifinal matches in 6 Olympic weight categories unfolded at the boxing tournament of the 2023 Pacific Games, today.
The tournament, hosted at the “Friendship Hall” in Honiara, Solomon Islands, from November 27th to December 2nd, serves as a Boxing Road to Paris continental qualification event for the Oceania region. Comprising 25 different weight categories, including the 13 Olympic weight categories (7 men’s, 6 women’s weight classes), this competition offers 13 Paris 2024 Olympic quota places, the coveted qualification slots for the next Games, that will be distributed to the winners of each Olympic weight class.
Commencing day-3, Australia’s Tiana Echegaray secured a spot in the women’s 54kg final match by winning the weight category’s semifinal against New Zealand’s Christine Claire Gillespie with a unanimous decision, bringing her one step closer to the 2024 quota place. On her journey to Paris, she is set to face Hainiete Tuitupou of Tonga in the Pacific Games final round on December 1. Tuitupou, in turn, advanced to the medal match by defeating Jennifer D. Chieng of Micronesia with a commanding 5:0 score today.
In the women’s 60kg event, Tyla McDonald from Australia met and defeated Samoa’s Baby Nansen with a 5:0 on-point decision, securing her place in the final match in two days. There, she will face Erin Elizabeth Walsh of New Zealand, who qualified by stunning Tonga’s Elizabeth Teaupa in just 1 minute and 41 seconds into round 1 of their semifinal match.
New Zealand’s Te-Paea Shontel Deanne Read outclassed Samoa’s Tilomai Lafaialii as the referee stopped the contest 1 minute and 17 seconds into round one of their women’s 75kg fight. Read is now eyeing a 2024 Olympic quota place, but to secure a ticket to Paris, she will have to overcome a tough final match against Australia’s Caitlin Parker, who prevailed over Tonga’s Eseta Flint via a 4:1 split decision win.
Alla Oaike from Papua New Guinea stunned Solomon Islands’ Ron Enoch Taniveke in the first men’s 57kg semifinal of the day. Taniveke tried his best to resist the relentless charges of Oaike, supported by thousands of spectators here on his home turf, but amid round three, and after three standing counts, the referee decided to stop the contest. Oaike moves on in the brackets and is now set to meet Australia’s Charlie Senior, who beat New Zealand’s Alex Mukuka by unanimous decision.
Roman Viney from Tonga claimed victory against Jolando Taala from Samoa in the first men’s 80kg semifinal of the day, securing a 5:0 score at the end of a fierce bout. In the final, he will go up against Australia’s Callum Peters, who outscored Fiji’s Aminiasi Saribay 5 points to 0.
In the men’s 92kg semifinal, Samoa’s Ato Plodzicki-Faoagali outpowered Michael Schuster of Cook Islands, pushing his corner to throw the towel amid round 2. The Samoan boxer is now up for a final match against Australia’s Adrian Paoletti, who emerged on top from his bout against Preston Malcolm Matthes of New Zealand by unanimous decision.
The tournament, which runs from November 27th to December 2nd and sees more than 140 athletes from 17 countries competing, will continue this afternoon with non-Olympic weight classes fights, while Olympic events will resume tomorrow, November 29. For comprehensive information and full results, including non-Olympic weight classes, please refer to the official 2023 Pacific Games website at https://www.sol2023.com.sb/.