Thursday, December 7, 2023

Triple Pacific Games gold for teen Lynette Vai and Nicolas Massenet

Lynette Vai (far right) with PNG team-mates
Lynette Vai (far right) with PNG team-mates

PNG teen clinches Pacific gold for hosts
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent

Just four days before her 17th birthday, Lynette Vai clinched her third Pacific Games squash gold medal for hosts Papua New Guinea in the country’s capital Port Moresby to deny New Caledonia a repeat of the clean sweep of all seven gold medals in the 2011 Games in Noumea.

Vai thrilled the packed crowds at the Port Moresby Racquet Club firstly by leading Papua New Guinea to a 2-1 win over New Caledonia in the Women’s Team Championship final, before taking gold in the Women’s Singles event following an 8-11, 11-1, 11-3, 11-1 final victory over compatriot Eli Webb.

Pacific-Games-logo“It wasn’t a good start – my nerves took over,” Vai (pictured above, far right, with her PNG team-mates) told Inside The Games after the win her over fourth-seeded team-mate. “It was more of a challenge than the last time we played and I wasn’t expecting it.

“But I had a break, calmed myself down and tried again. I became more patient, settled in and got used to her game.”

Vai, whose squash prowess has been boosted since being based in Penang in Malaysia, then celebrated her Pacific Games gold medal hat-trick by partnering Madako Junior Suari to title success in the Mixed Doubles championship, the final event of the Games.

In an all-PNG final, the second seeds beat fourth-seeded Robin Morove & Eli Webb 11-9, 11-5.

PNG doubles
Nicolas Massenet (right) also won triple gold for New Caledonia in the Pacific Games squash

New Caledonian Nicolas Massenet also returns home with three gold medals to his credit. A Team gold medallist in the 2011 Games in his home country, 25-year-old Massenet led New Caledonia to a successful defence of the Men’s Team title in Port Moresby, then doubled his count by taking gold in the Men’s Singles, courtesy of an 11-9, 12-10, 9-11, 11-7 final win over the hosts’ Madako Junior Suari.

It was in the Men’s Doubles that Massenet (pictured above with the singles championship medallists) celebrated his third gold, pairing up with Fabian Dinh to defeat Fiji’s Marika Matanatabu & Romit Parshottam 11-7, 7-11, 11-4.

Pacific Games Squash Championships, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

Men’s Team Championship Final:

Nicolas Massenet lost to Justin Ho 9-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-13
Gael Gosse bt Marika Matanatabu 11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 11-4
Laurent Guepy bt Romit Parshottam 11-5, 11-2, 11-8
Fabian Dinh bt Andrew McGoon 12-10, 11-4, 11-3

Bronze medal play-off:
Madako Junior Suari bt Ridge Chung 13-11, 11-8, 11-8
Robin Morove bt Phillippe Rougier 11-9, 11-3, 11-4
Schubert Maketu bt Laurent Ferruci 11-6, 11-9, 11-7
Moreaina Wei bt Yann Lo 11-5, 11-9, 11-1

Women’s Team Championship Final:
Lynette Vai bt Claire Faucompre 11-7, 11-3, 11-8
Eli Webb bt Kareen Hamou 11-7, 11-3, 4-11, 8-11, 11-4
Sheila Morove lost to Christine Deneufbourg 11-9, 11-13, 13-11, 4-11, 5-11

Bronze medal play-off:
Andra Whiteside bt Heimana Chung 11-4, 7-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-2
Gabriella Wong lost to Agnes Chantre 7-11, 9-11, 8-11
Danielle Whiteside bt Isabelle Olite 8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-13, 11-4

Men’s Singles Final:
[1] Nicolas Massenet (NCL) bt [2] Madako Junior Suari (PNG) 11-9, 12-10, 9-11, 11-7
Bronze medal play-off:
[4] Gael Gosse (NCL) bt Yann Lancrenon (NCL) 11-5, 11-5, 11-8

Women’s Singles Final:
[1] Lynette Vai (PNG) bt [4] Eli Webb (PNG) 8-11, 11-1, 11-3, 11-1
Bronze medal play-off:
[2] Claire Faucompre (NCL) bt Sheila Morove (PNG) 11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 11-5

Men’s Doubles Final:
[2] Fabian Dinh & Nicolas Massenet (NCL) bt Marika Matanatabu & Romit Parshottam (FIJ) 11-7, 7-11, 11-4
Bronze medal play-off:
[1] Gael Gosse & Laurent Guepy (NCL) bt [3] Justin Ho & Andrew McGoon (FIJ) 11-10, 8-11, 11-6

Women’s Doubles Final:
[3] Sylvaine Durand & Christelle Nagle (NCL) bt [4] Nicole Gibbs & Sheila Morove (PNG) 11-7, 11-9
Bronze medal play-off:
[1] Lynette Vai & Eli Webb (PNG) bt [2] Claire Faucompre & Kareen Hamou (NCL) 11-10, 11-8

Mixed Doubles Final:
[2] Madako Junior Suari & Lynette Vai (PNG) bt [4] Robin Morove & Eli Webb (PNG) 11-9, 11-5
Bronze medal play-off:
[3] Laurent Guepy & Kareen Hamou (NCL) bt [1] Fabian Dinh & Sylvaine Durand (NCL) 11-10, 10-11, 11-6

Pictures courtesy of WSF


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