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New Caledonia dominated the second day of swimming at the 2019 Pacific Games here but there was still plenty for the home fans to cheer as Samoa's Brandon Schuster and Lushavel Stickland both won golds.
Of the eight gold medals on offer at the Aquatics Centre New Caledonia won six of them, including both 4x200 metres freestyle relays.
The most eye-catching of the victories came from Maiana Flament in the women's 400m individual medley, where she performed a stunning comeback in the final 50m to overtake Angeline Tregoat of Tahiti.
Tregoat led by six seconds after the breaststroke but on the final leg of freestyle Flament closed the gap and eventually won the race by just over two seconds.
She clocked 5min 13.91sec to Tregoat's 5:16.08.
Rosemarie Rova of Fiji was third in 5:30.93.
Another impressive winner was May Toven in the women's 100m butterfly, where she saw off home favourite Lauren Sale.
Sale became the first-ever Samoan woman to win a swimming gold yesterday but here she was beaten by nearly a second as Toven touched the wall in 1:03.32 to Sale's 1:04.27.
Another New Caledonian, Julie Decaix, was third in 1:06.91.
The closest race of the evening came in the men's 100m butterfly where Thibaut Mary beat Nicolas Vermorel of Tahiti by just seven-hundreds of a second – 54.09 to 54.16 – with New Caledonia's Thomas Oswald third in 55.50.
Julien Pierre Goyetche also earned gold by a narrow margin in the men's 50m backstroke, finishing in 27.01 with Fiji's Netani Ross only 0.12 back.
Tahiti's Teiki Dupont was third in 27.40.
The other two individual golds went to Samoa with Schuster adding to his historic victory yesterday, when he won Samoa's first-ever Pacific Games swimming gold, with success in the men's 400m individual medley.
Schuster stormed the field, winning by a margin of nearly six seconds with a time of 4:24.04, well ahead of the New Caledonia duo of Emmanuel Limozin and Alex Huet with times of 4:29.99 and 4:30.86 respectively.
The first race of the night was the women's 50m backstroke, won by Stickland who benefited from New Caledonia's Emma Terebo, the winner of multiple gold medals at the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby and favourite to triumph again here, being disqualified in the heats.
Stickland won in 29.96 with Fiji's Cheyenne Rova second in 31.11 and another Samoan, Jelani Wetzell, third in 31.76.
The night belonged to New Caledonia, however, as they won 10 of the 24 medals available on the night, wrapped up by two dominant victories in the 4x200m freestyle relays.
They won the women's race in 8:53.06, more than five seconds ahead of Samoa with Fiji third.
Their men's team then crushed the competition in a time of 7:38.51, more than 17 seconds clear of Tahiti, while Fiji again claimed bronze.
SOURCE: INSIDE THE GAMES/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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