Fiji's Vollmer retains men's triple jump gold

Eugene Vollmer of Fiji set a new personal best at the Samoa 2019 XVI Pacific Games on Friday as he defended his men’s triple jump title in a tight contest at packed Apia Park Stadium.

The 28-year-old leapt 15.53 metres to land just grains of sand ahead of Papua New Guinea’s Peniel Richard, who jumped 15.51m for silver, repeating his medal from the Port Moresby 2015 XV Pacific Games. New Caledonia’s Ulric Buama claimed bronze with a jump of 14.45m.

A humble Vollmer admitted he had competed against Richard for a long time, and felt almost guilty for taking top spot on the podium again. “I honestly feel that I don’t deserve this medal,” he told the Pacific Games News Service. “But, if anything, I enjoyed it because I was out there with my brother from PNG. We know each other and honor our gifts, giving back to God. It’s truly amazing.”

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Fiji triple jump

Fiji's Eugene Vollmer of Fiji set a new personal best as he secured gold in the Samoa 2019  men’s triple jump title (Credit: Pacific Games News Service)

Richard said he was satisfied with silver and his jump. “It was good. I got a new national record and I got to compete again with my brother, so I’m very happy. From here after these Games, I’m maybe going to focus on school now, and look at going back to finish university.”

Buama, who is 21, was also delighted to reach the podium. “I didn’t expect to win a bronze medal, so I’m very happy with that,” he smiled.