All participants at OCJC Opening Ceremony
The East Pacific team’s win over their West and North counterparts earned them their first Pacific Oceania Junior Championships title since the competition’s current format was introduced in 2001. The winners boasted a strong team of players from American Samoa, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tahiti and Tonga. Second and third place went to the North and West Pacific teams respectively.
The Championships were held at the Regional Training Centre, in Lautoka, Fiji from 6 - 10 August and featured pool play in each group followed by quarterfinals, semifinals and finals to determine an overall winner. Three qualifying events had been held earlier in the year to determine the teams of the East, North, and West Pacific who would feature in the Championships.
The POJC proved to be very successful for players from Fiji, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau and especially Tahiti who secured all the boys’ singles titles.
The tournament comprised boys' and girls' singles and doubles in the 12 & Under, 15 & Under and 18 & Under age categories.The top players in each age category at the POJC were:
|NAMES - GIRLS
|Carol Lee (NMI)
||Girls 12 & U
|Ayana Rengiil (PAL)
||Girls 15 & U
|Annie Shannon (FIJ)
||Girls 18 & U
|NAMES - BOYS
|Gillian Osmont (TAH)
||Boys 12 & U
|Christopher Shan (TAH)
||Boys 15 & U
|Heve Kelley (TAH)
||Boys 18 & U
Players then moved on to compete in the Air Pacific Oceania Closed Junior Championships, also in Fiji, where the ITF regional training centre scholarship players gained valuable match experience against some of the best junior players from Australia and New Zealand. The best performance from a scholarship player came from Annie Shannon, of Fiji, who beat Australian Somer Dalla-Bona to make the second round of the girls’ singles.
Honours were shared between Australia and New Zealand at the Championships after the top seeds went out before the finals. In a real surprise, New Zealand players claimed both the boys’ singles and doubles titles, for the first time in the 12-year history of the event. Fifth seed Alex Klintcharov capped a tremendous week taking out the top seed in the semifinals and then in the final fighting back from 25 in the third set to beat Australian second seed Daniel Guccione 46 63 76(3). His New Zealand teammates William Matheson and Olly Sadler also upset higher ranked opponents to claim the boys’ doubles title with a straight sets win over Australians Mitchell Pritchard and Max Purcell 75 62.
Australia totally dominated the girls’ singles, with Zoe Hives beating top seed Sara Tomic, on her way to the finals where Hives’ determination matched Australian Priscilla Hon’s big hitting style. In the end, Hon triumphed in a thrilling three set match 64 46 63.Sara Tomic and Naiktha Bains claimed the girls’ doubles title for Australia beating compatriot Lisette Cabrera and Paige Hourigan, of New Zealand in straight sets 63 63.
For detailed results, please click here for POJC results and here for OCJC results.