The Athletics and Tennis action starts at Apia Park Complex, with Aquatics, Boxing, Lawn Bowls, Squash and Weightlifting all commencing at Tuana’imato Sports Facility. Events include the 100m and 1500m finals of Athletics and 200m Freestyle, 200m Butterfly and 100m Backstroke Swimming finals.
The first event will be Lawn Bowls, as the sun rises over three greens at 07.45am, when Northern Ireland play Cook Islands, India play Scotland and Australia take on Malaysia in the Women’s Singles. The first Gold medal is likely to be awarded in Weightlifting in the Women’s 48kg category, with 15-year old Saofaialo Jim from host nation Samoa facing contenders from Australia, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka and Wales.
15 year old Swimmer Sitivi Sooaemalelagi, from Samoa, competing today in 50m Men’s Butterfly and 200m Men’s Butterfly and 200m Men’s Freestyle said: “I can’t wait to start so I can show Samoa how hard we’ve been training. Its very nice to have all the different personalities from all the Commonwealth countries in Samoa. I want the other athletes to see how happy Samoan people are, all the athletes are very welcome here. I hope to make a PB in our pool, I want to make my family and my country proud – I get my strength from God.”
13 year old Ricci Pheaulika Daniel, a Weightlifter from Nauru in the Women’s 53kg category said: “I am feeling good, I’ve been training since I was 9, I enjoy the travel. My biggest motivator is to make my mum and dad proud. I also like the time off school. I like being here in Samoa, I like being in the Commonwealth Youth Games, I get to meet lots of other nations and similar people from the islands like me. I am hoping to win something… something gold.”
There are 16 sessions on the first day of competition across the nine sports presented, with 22 Gold Medals contested in Swimming, Athletics and Weightlifting. The remaining two sports, Archery and Rugby Sevens, start on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.