Lara Grangeon of New Caledonia and Ryan Pini of Papua New Guinea had dominating performances over the last six days of the Pacific Games, earning the Best-Performing Female and Male awards.
Grangeon, who competes for France internationally as New Caledonia is a French territory, won eleven gold and broke five games records in individual events over the past six days in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. She took individual gold in the 200 (2:03.77), 400 (4:20.40) and 800 freestyle (8:52.99) as well as the 200 butterfly (2:11.89) and 200 breaststroke (2:33.20) all in games record time. She also collected victories in the 200 (2:17.84) and 400 IM (4:47.07) and the 100 butterfly (1:01.32).
The 23-year old was also part of three relay teams, 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 freestyle along with the 4 x 100 medley, that stood atop the podium. All three New Caledonian relays all set new games records.
Grangeon could have added her 12th gold in the 200 backstroke, but was disqualified in the prelims for staying underwater past the 15 meter mark.
As impressive of a performance as it was for Grangeon it did not match her 2011 total of 16 gold.
The 33-year old Pini is the most decorated athlete in the history of Papua New Guinea swimming having represented the nation at three Olympics and winning Commonwealth gold in the 100 butterfly at the 2006 Games. Pini came away from the competition with seven gold and four games records.
Pini took gold in the men’s 50 (23.93) and 100 butterfly (53.42) as well as the 50 freestyle (23.10) and 100 backstroke (56.00) in games record time. He also took the 50 backstroke (26.14) and the 100 freestyle (50.63).
Pini joined teammates to earn the Pacific Games title in the 4 x 50 mixed freestyle relay.
Grangeon was not the only woman from New Caledonia to have an outstanding Pacific Games appearance as 16-year old Emma Terebo won eight gold and set three individual games records. Terebo took the women’s 50 (29.18) and 100 backstroke (1:02.60) as well as the 50 freestyle (26.26) in games record time. She also took gold in the 50 butterfly (28.27).
She was also part of three relays, women’s 4 x 100 freestyle and medley and 4 x 50 mixed medley, that came away victorious.
Adeline Williams of New Caledonia also set a new games record in the 100 breaststroke posting a time of 1:11.05.
On the men’s side Tobagan Amini Fonua, who swam for Texas A&M and earned a Big 12 title in 2012, swept the breaststroke events. Fonua won the 50 (28.20) and 100 breaststroke (1:02.95) in games record time while also earning gold in the 200 breaststroke (2:20.27).
Tahitian Rahiti De Vos took gold in the 400 (3:56.82) and 1500 freestyle (15:50.16) in games record time. De Vos also won the 200 butterfly (2:04.23).