Vanuatu runner socks it to the competition by winning gold without shoes

Kuras secured victory in one hour 29 minutes and 55 seconds in Apia, 15 seconds ahead of Solomon Islands' Dianah Matekali - who was wearing shoes.

After the race, the 20-year-old champion told the Pacific Games News Service: “Yes, I won it with only socks on.

“Wearing socks is a personal decision that I made because I had never run with shoes on before, so I didn’t feel comfortable running in shoes at these Games.

"When I tried the shoes on, my feet felt too heavy and I didn’t like it.”

Vanuatu wins gold in women’s half marathon

Kuras was followed by Solomon Islands duo Dianah Matekali and Sharon Firisua in second and third place respectively.  

The women’s half marathon was the last event for Vanuatu at the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games.

Fiji’s Avikash Lal won the men’s event.

Samuel Aragaw of Tahiti won the silver medal and Derek Mandell of Guam won bronze.




Cook Islands to face Tonga for netball gold

Cook Islands booked a place in the final by defeating Papua New Guinea 58-31 at the Multisport Centre, Faleata, urged on by their boisterous fans.

“This is great for Cook Island netball. Last time we were in a gold medal match was 1991. We have a huge support base, both here and at home,” said coach Suzanne Evans.

Both teams entered the game undefeated from pool matches. Cook Islands took the lead and kept PNG goaled for the first four minutes.

Sacked ambassador to Vanuatu's lawyer hits out at case

The diplomat, Robby Judes, was sacked in March after two women in New Caledonia accused him of assault.

After questioning Mr Judes, the prosecutor in Noumea decided to close the case, saying the ambassador losing his job was punishment enough.

The lawyer Eric Dupond-Moretti has told New Caledonia's public broadcaster that his client was sacked even before there was an investigation.

Furthermore he said it was hard to understand that while the prosecutor established there was an infraction, he decided to close the case.

Chinese deported from Vanuatu worked for cryptocurrency scheme

It comes amid claims the government didn't follow due process in sending the six people back to China, four of whom had their Vanuatu passports cancelled.

The Daily Post reported the group worked for the cryptocurrency PlusToken, which is alleged to be a fraudulent scam.

The newspaper said the four people who held Vanuatu passports did not raise red flags because a Chinese investigation into them was secret.

Vanuatu's Internal Affairs Ministry said last week it will upgrade the security of its passports, but did not offer any details.

Vanuatu PM supports decentralisation policy through Independence celebration

This is part of the government’s decentralisation policy.

Napuat said, “It must be noted that this is the first time a government is empowering people, communities and area councils in the remotest areas of Vanuatu to host a celebration by giving VT 100,000 for an independence celebration and this is to ensure people celebrate the true meaning of independence according to the independence spirit across the whole country.”

Tonga one of six hopefuls to stage 2027 Pacific Games despite withdrawing as 2019 hosts

American Samoa, Fiji, Guam, Tahiti and Vanuatu have also lodged their interest with the Pacific Games Council (PGC).

The declaration of interest from Tonga is one of the most eye-catching of the potential contenders.

The kingdom was awarded the 2019 Pacific Games back in 2012, having seen off competition from Tahiti.

Tonga's Government withdrew from hosting the Games in 2017, citing financial concerns as the motive for the decision.

It led to the PGC reopening the bid process and selecting Samoa as replacement hosts in December 2017.

Vanuatu’s Lana Molivurae a certified Smart Sista

Lana Molivurae was recently recruited to join Engineering Business Services’ (EBS) team, who recognised the value of promoting and supporting women in Vanuatu’s IT industry, and now she has achieved her first Information Technology certification. 

Lana is involved in the SMART Sistas program whose mission is to “empower girls to pursue educational opportunities in the ICT field and help Vanuatu reach gender equality in ICT.” 

Earlier this year, Lana was offered the opportunity to work with EBS to learn more about the IT world including training and IT certification. 

Vanuatu Fest'Napuan releases new 2019 logo

Art for the new design was hand drawn by Narsong Taleo from Pango village.

Taleo based the design on an original which he created for the Vanuatu Rispek campaign of World Vision Vanuatu, which launched last year with a free-to-the-public music performance featuring Stan & The Earth Force.

The same campaign 'Riskpetem Yu Wan, Rispektem Narafala Man' is the theme of Fest'Napuan 2019.

Golden start for Vanuatu table tennis

A tearful Stephanie Qwea from Team Vanuatu said: “It means a lot to me, and it’s a privilege that we won gold in the team events, I’m just so happy.”

Fiji had to settle for silver, and their coach Chanung Jung said they “will train harder” in future.

New Caledonia beat Tahiti in the bronze medal match.

Following a high energy bout of matches in the men’s team event, Tahiti walked away with gold, defeating New Caledonia 3-1.

Fiji took home bronze after defeating Vanuatu.