22 boxers triumphant at Oceania Youth & Junior Championships in Tahiti

July 7th, 2024 / OCBC

The bright sparks from the Pacific Islands shone at the OCBC Youth & Junior Oceania Boxing Championships in Tahiti, as 22 gold medals were claimed by four countries.

Most successful was the hosts French Polynesia who brought home half of the titles.

Three would come in youth categories, with Nena Hinirau defeating Latu Ofa Ki Matatoa Napa’a of Tonga in the women’s 63kg final, Guillemet Manatoa beating Tonga’s Manakofua Popoai in the men’s 75kg final and Atger Kailoa won the men’s 63.5kg gold by beating Fiji’s Semi Koroitukana.

New Zealand’s sole title came in the men’s youth 80kg tournament as Joshua-Kaleb Tonga won against Tonga’s Aisake Vaomotou, while Fiji were victorious in the men’s 60kg and men’s 71kg finals as Mitieli Navuasese and Elijah Qiokata defeated French Polynesia’s Ariinui Teuru and Tonga’s Taumana Taiore.

Samoa won three youth golds too. Devontaye Venasio won the men’s 67kg final with victory over Fiji’s Joe Kolitapa, Achillespaul Taavao won the men’s 86kg gold over Li Cheng Teraiarii of French Polynesia and Uaita Poutoa defeated Kiaora Flohr from French Polynesia for the men’s +92kg title.

French Polynesia were more dominant in the junior events, winning eight titles. Three came in women’s events as Matuanui Tatarata won the 75kg final against Lasinilata Akoteu of Tonga, Kalea Punu defeated Ana Tangaloa from Tonga in the 80kg final and Temeiana Izal won the 60kg contest against Fiji’s Merewalesi Kolitapa.

Five more came for the hosts in the junior men categories. Heivini Atiu was successful in the heaviest +80kg final against William Tuao Robertson of the Cook Islands, while Li Cheng  Manuiva defeated Robertson’s compatriot Caleb Nehemiah Ngamata in the 80kg final.

Other victors were Tetuaeaa Amatahiapo in the 75kg final against Fiji’s Tevita Secivo, Hautea Rohi over Tonga’s Utufiu Manakofua for 66kg gold and Keeley Mervin, who defeated Samoa’s Malaki Simeuaita Ualesi in the 63kg final.

Samoa would bring a total of six golds home, with three more coming in the junior ranks. Daniel Kent Junior Alofipo won the men’s 70kg final over Manasa Kalivakarua of Fiji, Johnsal Semi was victorious in the men’s 54kg final against home favourite Tanito Itchner and Siumoo Viligia defeated Itchner’s teammate Tehani Patu for the women’s 54kg gold.

Two more junior golds were won by Fiji in the men’s 57kg and 60kg finals. Norman Amram and Meli Saronicava Buinimasi defeated Tefakahira Teheipuarii and Hitinui Teaue from French Polynesia respectively.