Australia’s Mitchell Lightfoot set a new Pacific Games record in the men’s 110m hurdles at Honiara’s National Stadium on Thursday night.
Living up to his name, Lightfoot streaked the distance in 14.19 seconds, dethroning Fiji’s Jovesa Naivalu, who has held the record in this event (previously 14.32) since 1999.
New Caledonia’s Florient Girard claimed silver in 14.61 seconds and Papua New Guinea’s Robert Oa collected bronze (14.81 seconds)
Lightfoot told the Pacific Games News Service that he was delighted to win gold, and that the crowd and atmosphere of Sol2023 was comparable to other major international events in countries known for their vocal supporters.
“I was really happy to be able to come here. Racing people from around the world is one of the reasons why I do this sport. It’s a great environment here, a terrific crowd, it’s amazing. Compared to (the World Athletics Under 20 Championships in) Colombia a couple of years ago, it definitely is up there with the really good crowds.”
He revealed that arriving as early as possible in Honiara had allowed him to acclimatise. “I had a lot of training over here which definitely benefitted me a lot, especially considering how humid it is compared to back at home.”
A delighted Oa was lost for words after the race, relieved to have come away with a medal.
“Wow. I’m speechless. That’s the whole point. I came out and did it to the best of my abilities, and I’m so happy, my family will be happy too,” Oa said through tears of joy.
Pacific Games News Service