Men racing in wheelchairs

First Pacific Games men’s 100m wheelchair run makes history at Sol2023

005A2882 | July 8, 2024
New Caledonia’s Pierre Fairbank won gold in the history-making race. Photos: Danzo Kakadi, Pacific Games News Service

The stands erupted into cheers as the inaugural Pacific Games men’s 100m wheelchair run took off at Honiara’s National Stadium on Tuesday night.

It was Pierre Fairbank of New Caledonia who crossed the finish line first with a time of 17.08 seconds, securing himself a place in history and a final placing percentage of 82.55 per cent against his T53 classification to claim the inaugural 100m wheelchair run gold at Sol2023.

In the wheelchair category, Para athletes’ results are measured against their classification to determine their final placing percentage. A higher percentage closer to 100 indicates a better ranking and the highest ranked competitor at the end of the event is the winner.

Fairbank told the Pacific Games News Service:

“I feel happy because it’s the first time there has been a 100m wheelchair run. We’re talking about sport at the Pacific Games that’s great for promoting discipline and for all the Pacific Islands to be able to use wheelchairs for athletics and wheelchairs for the 100 metres. As a result, we (New Caledonia) have been able to lend wheelchairs to the Solomon Islands and Tahiti so we can race, so we’re very happy.

“It was a good night, a great experience and I enjoyed myself,” Fairbank said.

Moffet Tolomae of Solomon Islands claimed the silver medal with a race time of 23.55 seconds and 57.87 percentage placing against his F57 classification, but not without challenges.

“It was challenging as it was my first time to do 100m wheelchair. We don’t have the proper equipment, but I am so proud that I got silver,” he told the Pacific Games News Service.

Tahiti’s Christian Chee Ayee, with a F56 classification, finished with bronze after clocking a time of 28.49 seconds and a placing percentage of 47.84 per cent.

By Melissa Velvel Fare and Joyce Koiari, Pacific Games News Service

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