Vanuatu and Australia dominated Oceania Judo Open in Port Vila
Vanuatu were guaranteed success in the women’s under-57 kilogram at the Farea Pasifika venue, which is located in the Warwick Le Lagon Resort and Spa. Vanuatu had the only two athletes in the event, with Florence Daoleuang winning two straight bouts against Veronica Tari to win the best-of-three competition.
It was a similar story in the men’s over 100kg competition, as Nazarlo Fiakaifonu beat Georges Cumbo in consecutive bouts between the two local athletes. The men’s under 90kg event saw Vanuatu’s Nicolas Monvoisin emerge as the winner against Philippe Gardais, beating his compatriot in straight contests, JudoInside.com reports.
There was an international flavour to the women’s under 48kg division, with Anne Suzuki of the United States taking on Hong Kong’s Wong Ka Lee.
Victory was earned by Suzuki, as the American won the first two bouts in the best-of-three competition. There was a greater depth of field in the women’s under 52kg event, with four judoka seeking to claim the title. Nina Takenaka emerged as the winner, as she beat Hong Kong’s Tsui Shuk Ki in the semi-final, before overcoming her fellow Australian Tinka Easton in the final.
Tsui bounced back from her semi-final defeat to beat Anni Lau, also of Hong Kong, in the bronze medal bout. Australian success continued in the men’s under-81kg competition, as Eoin Coughlan won two group matches against Vanuatu’s Ben George and Jean Patunvanu to win gold.
Kyle McIndoe added to the Australian tally by beating Hong Kong’s Mak Hong Nin in the under-66kg event, while Calvin Knoester beat his compatriot Perry Papadimitropoulos in the under-73 division.
American judoka Nathaniel Keeve won the under-100kg title, as he beat his team-mate L A Smith III in the final.
Vanuatu were hosting the competition for the first time in its history, with the event being open to entrants from outside the Oceania region.