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THE FRIENDLY GAMES



The Cook Islands first competed in the Commonwealth Games in 1974.  They didn't return until 1986, but since then, they've  taken part in every Games. 

NOW MEET THE TEAM AND SEE HOW THEY GOT ON....


Flying the flag for the Cook Islands
Team Cook Islands travelled nearly 11,000 miles to represent their country at the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.  The athletes competed in four sports codes - athletics, lawn bowls, rugby sevens and weightlifting, and it was a games of mixed fortunes for them.  But first there was the opening ceremony....
Team Cook Islands in the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow
The flag bearer
Waving to the crowds
Enjoying the spectacle and being part of it
Sprinter, Paty Taea (below, centre) had the honour of carying the national flag and leading the team into Celbtic Park football ground which has been transformed into an athletics stadium for the duration of the games. And you could tell from the faces of her fellow team members that they were all enjoying the spectacle.
Rugby 7s is big in the Islands, and the national team have been drawn in Pool B  and will play South Africa, Kenya and Trinidad and Tobago  in their first round matches on 26th July.  Glasgow's famous Ibrox Stadium is the venue for the fast and furious competiton in which games last just 14 minutes. 

Making up the team are:  Harry Berryman, Sean Fletcher,
James Iopu, Junior Kiria,  Koiatu Koiatu, Simon Marcel, Greg Mullany, Teu Paerau, Josh Petero, James Raea, Two Boys Junior Taia.









18 year old Alex Beddoes was the country's Junior Sportsman of the Year 2013.  In May, 2013,  he set a new Cook Islands record of 1:54.65 in the Open Men 800m at the  North Island Secondary School Championships in New Zealand.  He's  since topped that this year with a time of 1:53:71.  But he needs to be looking for around 1 minute 45 to be in with a chance of a medal at the Games.

The youngster will be back in Rarotonga at the end of this month for the Oceania Championships

And Alex has decided to delay starting his university studies this year because he's earned himself an invitation to train with the New Zealand high performance team in the USA for three months. 

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Luisa Peters at the London Olympics
Luisa Peters is one of those with Olympics experience behind her.  She  set two new Cook Islands records at London  2012 with lifts of 82 kg in the snatch and 100kg in clean and jerk.  

And she's topped that twice since, firstly with a 103kg lift in the Australian and Oceania Weightlifting Championships in 2013, where she picked up a gold medal.  And most recently - albeit not in competition - she managed a clean and jerk lift of 120kg and a snatch lift of 100kg.  She's currently in training at the Weightlifting Institute in Noumea and will head to the Rome Sports Institute for nine days before joining her team mates in Glasgow.

21 year old Patricia Taea is another Olympian.   But London 2012 brought her both joy and disappointment.  In the preliminary races of the 100m competition, she achieved a seasonal best of 12.47 seconds earning her third place in her heat, but it wasn't fast enough to qualify for the round 1 races.

She's since set a new personal best of 12.29 seconds at the Mata Utu Pacific Mini Games in 2013. 

She was also honoured in 2013 by the Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee who named her sportswoman of the year.



Patricia Taea gets set to go
Rugby 7s team
Rising star, Alex Beddoes
As well as individual team coaches and managers, Team Cook Islands also includes former Cook Islands Olympic athlete Mark Sherwin  (Barcelona and Atlanta games) as general team manager, administration officer Siniva Marsters and Attaché, Tupuna Mitchell.  Robert Graham is the Chef de Mission.        


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WEIGHTLIFTING (Women's 75kg+)
                                          Luisa Peters

ATHLETICS
        Patricia (Paty) Taea - 100 and 200 metres


RUGBY 7S
       Cook Islands Team

      Alex Beddoes - 800 metres
LAWN BOWLS
                  Cook Islands Men's and Women's Teams

Bowling is popular with islanders of all ages with six clubs on Rarotonga, and fierce but friendly competition.   And with some world champions competing in Glasgow, the events will be anything but tranquil   Commonwealth Games team members are: Phillip Jim, Vaine Henry, Peter Totoo, Papatua Papatua, Lawrence Paniani, Kanny Vaile, Antonina Browne, Irene Tupuna, Linda Vavia and Tai Jim.  Joining them in Glasgow are their managers, Douglas Tatuava (men's team) and Anna Kairua (women's team)

Athletes will compete for eight Gold medals across the men's and women's singles, pairs, triples and fours, beginning with a round robin format before knockout finals determine the medal winners.  The competition will take place at the picturesque Kelvingrove Lawn Bowls Centre.


But all 16 competing teams face a tough challenge...reigning champions New Zealand have won all four Commonwealth Gold medals to date,  Photo: Cook Islands News
Lawn bowling on Rarotonga
RESULT:   Luisa came an impressive sixth out of 14 with a 100kg lift in the snatch event and 125kg in the clean and jerk
RESULT:  Patricia failed to qualify in both the 100 and 200 metres, finishing last in both her heats.  She ran the 100 m in 1.28 seconds in the200 m in 26.14 seconds

RESULT:  Alex set a new national record of 1 minute 53.16 seconds but failed to qualify after finishing last in his heat
RESULTS:  It was a first class performance by the team who made it all the way to the bowl final (not the medals final), where they were defeated by Canada
Preliminary rounds:  Kenya 28, Cook Islands 0;  Cook Islands 33, Trinidad & Tobago 10
South Africa 50, Cook Islands 0
Quarter final: Cook Islands 31, Barbados 7
Semi final: Papua New Guinea 12, Cook Islands 12
Bowl Final: Canada 50, Cook Islands 7

RESULTS:
Men's Triples, Section D:  Lost to Fiji 14-8; Lost to Northern Ireland 17-15
Lost to South Africa 18-10; Drawn with Kenya 15 all
Women's Fours, Section A:  Lost to Scotland 16-11
Won against Papua New Guinea 21-16; Won against Jersey 12-7
Lost to Australia 19-6
Women';s Triples, Section B:  Beat Zambia 22-8; Lost to Fiji 16-12;
Lost to Canada 20-13
Men's Pairs, Section B: Lost to Australia 25-11; Lost to Norfolk Island 26-10
Lost to Jersey 24-12; Lost to Namibia 21-13