The revived Cook Islands Games is on the homeward stretch, with beach volleyball the latest of 16 sports to kick-off yesterday.
Aitutaki, Mauke and Rarotonga are setting the medals pace but President of the Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee, Hugh Graham, said that could all change in the final three days.
"At this stage Aitutaki received a lot of medals on the field and the track during the athletics competition and they are ahead on the table so far," he said.
"But you never know...you've got Mangaia, Rarotonga and Mauke very close behind. We've still got another eight sports to be played so that could all change before the closing ceremony this weekend."
The multi-sport event returned for the first time since 2015, as a way to bolster sporting competition in the country in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, but Graham said it's also created an opportunity to develop more athletes on home soil.
"What has been a real highlight for us here is the addition of the age groups, especially the young kids coming up, they are our future and to see them enjoying, to see the skill level, has been overwhelming for us here in the Cook Islands especially for us as sports administrators.
"These are our future athletes and this is the targeted area that we'd like to concentrate on so they become our future that's for sure."
Close to 4000 locals have participated in the event over the last two weeks, with a number of islands flying their flag for the first time.
Graham said of the 16 sports played so far, the traditional games had been a real standout, putting a spotlight on the importance of preserving the Cook Island culture.
"The introduction of the traditional games which was one of the first events was a real highlight for us," he said.
"It reiterates how important it is to preserve our culture, and this is culture through sport, through these traditional sports that were held on Saturday last week. It's been a real buzz for us here in the Cook Islands and we are thoroughly enjoying it."
There's still plenty to look forward to in the last few days, he added.
"Beach volleyball is my passion, that's why I'm here for the men's and women's open and the finals and we're also looking forward to watching the cricket which started a couple of days ago."
He said cricket had been around for a while with the island of Pukapuka having a good record in the sport.
"I'm quite sure without knowing the results to date that Pukapuka should take out the cricket competition because they're very strong in that sport, but we're all looking forward to how it plays out."
"It's been fantastic, actually it's been overwhelming to see the 11 islands come together, the fellowship, the enjoyment of watching at least 16 sports that have been played so far [and] still another eight sports to go, before the closing ceremony this coming Saturday [Cook Islands Time]."