21 Mar 2006

Pini wins Commonwealth Games gold for Papua New Guinea

11:47 am on 21 March 2006

The Pacific has picked up its first gold medal at the 18th Commonwealth Games in Melbuorne and created history on the way.

Papua New Guinea's Ryan Pini last night won the 100 metres butterfly final to secure the country's first gold in a swimming event at a Commonwealth Games.

Pini beat former world record holder Michael Klim to win gold for Papua New Guinea, a country which has just one full-length swimming pool.

It was just PNG's second Games title after winning a gold in lawn bowls at Auckland in 1990.

Pini, whose steady progress over the past year in Australian competitions meant he was always a gold medal contender for this event, said afterwards how much the win meant for him...

"Knew this was a first for PNG so I was so honoured and I know there's thousands of people back at home watching this tonight and just feeling so proud."

Meanwhile, PNG's Mae Komae made it through to the semifinal of the women's 100 metres - and finished seventh in her heat in a time 11.71 seconds; Jamaica's Sheri-Ann Brooks won the gold in a time of 10.03.