Having hosted the Oceania Commonwealth Games Qualifier last week, the Van2017 Pacific Mini Games Beach Volleyball tournament got underway on Monday.
First match of the day in the Men’s competition saw Fiji – the Commonwealth Games qualifier – defeat Samoa 2-1.
Wallis & Futuna then powered past Tuvalu 2-nil.
Vanuatu lit up the court in front of the packed evening crowd, defeating Tonga 2-1, with the noise almost deafening from the sponsor’s inflatable red beaters which proved popular with the fans.
In the Women’s competition, Fiji (also the Commonwealth Games qualifier)smashed Guam 2-0 but the excitement built for the final match of the night when the Vanuatu women entered the court.
The hometown favorites – still the current Oceania Champions – easily defeated New Caledonia 2-0.
Attending the evening session was the Vanuatu Prime Minister, Hon CharlotSalwai and his wife underlining his strong interest in the sport and the fact that his Office is the ministry responsible for Beach Volleyball.
The PM was not alone as other members of Parliament were also present to watch all the action with the Minister of Agriculture,Livestock,Fisheries and Biosecurity, the Hon Matai Seremaiah and the Minister of Public Utilities, the Hon JothamNapath– both accompanied by their wives – and the Minister of Youth and Sports Development,SimioneSeule enjoying the fun.
The competition will continue on Tuesday with high expectations of strong showing from the Vanuatu teams.
By Adele Willie and AntasTavuti
Photo by Harvey Toto