Mia Scerri of Australia took a commanding lead in the heptathlon on Monday’s opening day of the athletics competition at the Sol2023 Pacific Games.
Out of the four events contested so far, 18-year-old Scerri put herself in first place for the 100m hurdles with a time of 14.54 seconds and distanced herself from the heptathlon’s five other contestants with a high jump clearance of 1.77m. She threw strongest in shot put (13.70m) but came second to Edna Boafob of Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the 200m sprint.
Scerri told the Pacific Games News Service: “I have never competed against any of these girls, so it is really exciting to see what the Pacific has to offer, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.
“It is great to compete against older girls who are little bit more experienced, but I also like to compete strongly against them too.
“I hope it will be the same conditions as today so that I can get a good jump for the first long jump and keep the momentum through tomorrow”.
Tahiti’s experienced heptathlete, Timeri Lamorelle, who currently sits third on the leaderboard, said she was very impressed with Scerri’s performance.
The 28-year-old told the Pacific Games News Service: “I won the heptathlon 12 years ago; it has been a long time. I see we have great athletes and the Australian one is really amazing I really admire her because I trained very hard for the heptathlon but when I saw her I just can’t compete with her, she has been doing great all day,” she said.
After four events Scerri leads with 3430 points, followed by Boafob (2899 points) and Lamorelle (2538 points). Elsie Laisa of Solomon Islands is fourth with 2107 points, followed by Hola ‘I Mo Tauvaka of Tonga (1876 points). Julian Sosimo of Solomon Islands trails with 1457 points but won the silver medal in women’s pole vault on Monday afternoon in between her heptathlon events.
The women’s heptathlon will wrap up on Tuesday at the National Stadium when the six competitors will contest the remaining three events – long jump, javelin throw 600g and the 800m run.
By Meleseini Tufui, Amanda Su’ainiu and Jacklyn Kutia, Pacific Games News Service