Teenager Jil Walter earned hosts Samoa’s first gold medal of the 2019 Pacific Games in the women’s archery 144 recurve - however, her country’s Prime Minister came last in his event.
The individual 144 championship was the first medal event of the Samoa 2019 archery tournament - the results of 72 arrows shot during qualification rounds by each archer were added to the results of an additional 72 shot during the second half of this competition.
Each archer shot a total of 144 arrows, in ends of six arrows, at a distance of 50 metres to an 80 centimetres target face for compound, and a distance of 70m to a 122cm target face for recurve.
The 18-year-old Wlater won in the women’s recurve, her score of 868 points enough to narrowly defeat New Caledonian duo Isabelle Vermande with 860, and Isabelle Soero on 839.
Walter claimed more regular competition and a training camp in China helped her to gold.
"Now we have more archers, we have competitions every Saturday now," she said.
"We were given, a few of us, six months away to go to China to train.
"It was a really good experience, we learned new techniques, there was a lot of strength training which was tough, but we all pulled through.
"I was excited to be competing as part of the Pacific Games, so this feels really good."
She also revealed "that one of my goals is to represent Samoa at the Olympics" at Tokyo 2020.
Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi finished last in the men's compound competition.
The 74-year-old, winner of a bronze medal at the 2007 Pacific Games, the last time they were hosted in Samoa, scored just 469 points from his 144 arrows, while winner Laurent Clerte of New Caledonia shot 1072.
Clerte completed a New Caledonian one-two with Henry Shiu just behind on 1065 points, while Frederick Tamavua Leota of Fiji won bronze with 1056.
New Caledonia were the big winners from the first day of archery, picking up five of the 12 medals on offer, including two golds.
Cecille Rouillard won the women’s compound with 1010 points, ahead of Fiji’s Lisa Noreen Leota on 935 and Samoa’s Naifoua Vise Tamai on 918.
Vise Tamai tied score with Tahiti’s Kohai Godefroy, but won bronze by scoring 17 bullseyes to 14.
The men’s recurve was won by Olympic Solidarity scholarship recipient Robert Elder for Fiji’s first gold of the Pacific Games, scoring 986 points.
Tahiti made up the rest of the podium: Jean-Pierre Winkelstroeter won silver with 964, while Thiry Teng’s 955 earned bronze.