By James Cowling, Games News Service
PORT MORESBY, July 15 – Tahiti is set to continue its gold medal haul in taekwondo at the Port Moresby 2015 Pacific Games after winning 13 of the 17 weight categories at Noumea 2011.
While Tahiti showed its strength in 2011, results do show that other Pacific Games Association’s (PGA) are competitive with 10 in total winning medals four years ago.
No gold medallists will be defending titles at Port Moresby 2015, but four runners-up from Noumea will try to go one better.
Lindsay Gavin (NCL) won silver in the -53kg class in 2011 but drops back to the -49kg class here, and teammate Doriane Gohe, a silver medallist in the -67kg class in Noumea drops in weight class as well.
Hometown girl Theresa Tona will compete in the women’s -53kg in Port Moresby having bagged -49kg silver in 2011, and men’s -87kg silver medallist from Noumea, Pranit Kumar (FIJ), also returns.
Not surprisingly, Tahiti won both team gold medals four years ago.
The unknown quantity at Port Moresby 2015 is the inclusion of Australia and New Zealand athletes for the first time in the Pacific Games, with both PGAs fielding taekwondoists in men’s and women’s events.
At Port Moresby 2015 there will be 19 gold medals awarded: nine men’s weight categories, eight women’s weight classes and men’s and women’s team events.
Individual bouts consist of three two-minute rounds, with winners advancing to the next round and losers eliminated.
In the team event, five competitors from the same PGA, but from different weight categories make up a team.
The team competition will consist of three rounds. In the first, each competitor fights against someone from the same weight category; but in rounds two and three, there will be two five-minute, non-stop rounds where fighters can compete outside their weight class.
Teams accumulate points and the one with the highest total after the three rounds will win the gold medal.
Taekwondo will take place at the BSP Arena with the women’s competition on Thursday July 16, men’s the following day and the team event on Saturday July 18.