This morning the 13th Oceania Championships was officially opened at the Phenix Tennis & Squash Centre, Tahiti by the Federation Tahitienne de Squash President, Mr Patrick Morelle, complete with a brilliant display of Tahitian dancing and drumming by the local dance group.
Mr Morelle and the Tahitian Government were pleased to welcome all the visiting teams and are looking forward to a great week of good squash, sportsmanship and friendship. The President of the Phenix facility announced that they are keen to expand the facility to include additional singles and doubles courts to attract more squash tournaments in the coming years.
The Tahiti Federation has achieved a lot in a very short time and the Oceania Squash Federation are keen to continue to work closely with them to increase participation in the Region.
Although the number of competing countries is down from the previous Championships of 2015 in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, enthusiasm is not lacking.
This is the first time that Australia has competed in the Championships as previous Championships have been restricted to players from the smaller island nations. At the top level both Australia & New Zealand’s squash ability far exceeds that of the island nations. To counteract this a trial player selection process for Australia was introduced and will be reviewed for future Championships.
The Women’s Team Event was the first competition of the day with Tahiti (2) playing New Caledonia, followed by Australia and Tahiti (1). New Caledonia proved much too strong for the Tahiti 2 Women and convincingly beat them 3 - 0. Australia defeated Tahiti but not without some great matches and plenty of support from the local squash community.
New Caledonia, the Champions for the Mens Team event for the past 5 games, proved that they continue to maintain their high standards and defeated Samoa in all 4 matches. Tahiti did likewise against Australia.
The teams event will continue tomorrow with the Finals to be held on Monday. After a rest day on Tuesday when all the players, officials and guests will be hosted by Tahiti Squash on the nearby island of Moorea, Wednesday will see the first matches of the Individual Events with the Finals and the Closing Ceremony on Friday evening.
If the atmosphere of the Centre today was anything to go by we are in for an exciting and very vocal week of squash.
New Caledonia defeated Tahiti 2 : 3-0
Anais Galaud (NC) bt Sabine Wissert (TAH) : 3-0 (11-0, 11-1, 11-0)
Christelle Nagle (NC) bt Rebecca Brocard (TAH) : 3-0 (11-0, 11-3, 11-3)
Sylvaine Durand (NC) bt Beatrice Villa (TAH) : 3-0 (11-3, 11-3, 11-2)
Australia defeated Tahiti 1 : 2-1
Di Robinson (AUS) bt Heimana Charles (TAH) : 3-0 (11-5, 13-11, 11-3)
Kylie Pearson (AUS) bt Agnes Chantre (TAH) : 3-0 (11-9, 11-1, 11-7)
Pamela Johnson (AUS) lost to Melanie Gloaner (TAH) 3-0 (10-12, 11-13, 4-11)
Tahiti defeated Australia : 4-0
Ridge Chung (TAH) bt Jordan Till (AUS) : 3-0 (11-6, 11-8, 13-11)
Laurent Loudier (TAH) bt Martin McBride (AUS) : 3-0 (11-7, 11-6, 11-5)
Laurent Ferrucci (TAH) bt Bruce Grant (AUS) : 3-0 (11-6, 11-5, 11-4)
Nicolas Stuhlfauth (TAH) bt Dan Wagner (AUS) : 3-0 (11-2, 11-3, 11-2)
New Caledonia defeated Samoa : 4-0
Nicolas Massenet (NC) bt Joseph Petelo (SAM) : 3-0 (11-4, 11-2, 11-3
Gael Gosse (NC) bt Jordan Chewlit (SAM) : 3-0 (11-9, 11-6, 11-5)
Yann Lancrenon (NC) bt Ivan Chewlit (SAM) : 3-0 (11-3, 11-5, 11-5)
Nicolas Faure (NC) bt Chad Rankin (SAM) : 3-0 (11-8. 11-1, 11-4)