Sport: Cook Islands win first ever Comm Games medal

The Cook Islands have won their first ever Commonwealth Games medal on the Gold Coast.

Lawn bowlers Aidan Zittersteijn and Taiki Paniani have won bronze in the men‘s pairs. Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Vinnie Wylie

Lawn bowlers Aidan Zittersteijn and Taiki Paniani combined in the men‘s pairs to defeat Malta 17-11 in the bronze medal playoff at Broadbeach.

The duo got off to a fast start, leading 5-0 after the first end and extended their advantage to seven after three ends.

The Maltese pairing of Shaun Parnis and Brendan Aquilina fought back to level the scores at 10-10 before the Cooks duo closed out a historic victory.

First gold for Samoa

After a number of near misses Samoa‘s weightlifters finally struck gold on the Gold Coast.

Sanele Mao won the gold medal. Photo: AFP or licensors

Sanele Mao lifted combined 360kg to win the men‘s 105kg division, finishing a comfortable eight kilograms clear of his nearest rival.

The 32-year-old showed big improvements, lifting 19kg more than at last year‘s Commonwealth Championships, and a whopping 55kg above his efforts at the previous Commonwealth Games, when he competed in a lower weight class.

Samoa has now climbed to 12th on the overall medals table, one spot behind Papua New Guinea, with one gold and one silver medal.

David Katoatau from Kiribati was unable to defend his title from the Glasgow Games, finishing out of the medals in fifth place with a total lift of 340kg, well down on his performance from four years ago.