‘I’m a bit surprised actually’: 18yo girl claims archery gold as Samoan Prime Minister comes dead last

Australia World

Posted July 11, 2019 13:02:20

Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele has failed at his second attempt to win a medal at the Pacific Games.

Key points:

  • Samoa’s 74-year-old PM wants to inspire more Samoans to do archery
  • Jil Archer won Samoa’s first medal at the Pacific Games
  • Australian women took out gold in the weightlifting

The 74-year-old is the oldest competitor at the Games but was eliminated from the mixed compound archery event this morning.

Earlier in the week Mr Sailele also competed in the men’s compound 50 metre archery event and finished in last place.

But Mr Sailele isn’t taking the losses badly.

“It does not really matter [about the results], it’s a good effort and it’s about participation,” he said.

In 2007, the PM won the silver medal in the same event when Samoa last hosted the multi-sport event.

Mr Sailele wants more Samoans to join the sport of archery.

“I’m trying to inspire people to become involved, and come in and join,” he said.

Samoa’s first gold, a birthday present

Samoan archer Jil Walter celebrated her 18th birthday in stunning style, winning the nation’s first gold medal at this year’s Pacific Games.

She took away gold for the women’s recurve 70 metre archery event and was visibly stunned by the result.

“I’m a bit surprised actually,” she said.

The 18-year-old put her success down to taking a break from school.

“I took six months off to train in China,” she said.

Aussie weightlifting golden girls

Australia’s female weightlifters got the nation on the medal table, taking out six gold medals overnight.

The Games flagbearer Erika Yamasaki won the 59 kilogram weight division, taking out the snatch, clean and jerk, and was crowned overall champ.

“I knew it was going to be really tough but I’m just so glad I came out on top,” she said.

Injuries in 2015 meant Yamasaki missed the Rio Olympics, and she was certain her Olympic dream was over.

She says the Pacific Games helped keep the dream alive.

“There is still a chance … [I] have to be number one in the Oceania region to qualify,” she said.

“So securing the win today is a stepping stone to Tokyo.”

Weightlifter Kiana Elliot also had a successful tournament, sweeping the 64 kilogram competition.

She won golds across the snatch, clean and jerk, and overall.

Topics: sport, sports-organisations, samoa, pacific