Women running a race

New Zealand claim gold and silver in women’s 800m

cropped 005A2701 | February 24, 2024
NZ’s Tilly Hollyer and Peyton Leigh secured gold and silver. Photos: Danzo Kakadi, Pacific Games News Service

New Zealand’s 21-year-old Tilly Hollyer won gold in the women’s 800m on Tuesday night at the Sol2023 Pacific Games in a race that saw New Zealand snatch both gold and silver podium positions.

Halley finished in 2 minutes and 12:29 seconds at Honiara’s National Stadium, closely followed by countrywoman Peyton Leigh (2:13.79).

New Caledonia’s Charlotte Michel finished third to claim bronze in 2:14.73.

On her pathway to compete at Sol2023, Hollyer told the Pacific Games News Service: “I just saw the opportunity come up with Athletics New Zealand, they wanted to take a development team. So, I’m still kind of young, 21, so I thought ‘this would be a cool opportunity’. They bought me through it, and it just ended up being at a good time of year.

“I never would have come here (otherwise) so, it’s awesome. Everyone is so friendly. Everyone wants to interact with you like you need to exchange badges. It’s a cool atmosphere and everyone in the stadium, it was so cool hearing everyone cheer. It’s such an awesome place.”

Hollyer thanked her coach, Mike Wrigley, for challenging her to participate in this year’s Games.

“He has helped me get here. And I’ve improved every year that I’ve been with him. So definitely, a lot of thanks to him. He’s very supportive and patient because I’m very hard to work with sometimes.”

By Delisha Koime and Frank Teho, Pacific Games News Service

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