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10th Indian Ocean Islands Games (IOIG), Mauritius July 19-28 |29 July 2019

10th Indian Ocean Islands Games (IOIG), Mauritius July 19-28

SEYCHELLES … Third consecutive IOIG gold medal win

Volleyball - Seychelles rally from two sets behind to win historic gold medal hat-trick

The Seychelles women’s volleyball team have entered the Indian Ocean Islands Games (IOIG) history book by becoming the first ever selection to win three consecutive gold medals, following their come-from-behind victory against Madagascar in the final on Saturday.

The gold medal won on Saturday is the third in a row for the Seychelles women’s team after winning it in 2011 at the 8th Games on home soil and successfully defending it at the 9th IOIG in 2015 in Reunion.

Seychelles had previously managed to defend the women’s gold medal in the past but failed to achieve a hat-trick of wins.

The first time Seychelles won the women’s volleyball gold medal was during the 5th IOIG in 1998 in Reunion and they defended the title in Mauritius in 2003. They failed in their quest to make it three consecutive wins as they lost to Reunion in the final in Madagascar in 2007.


The game


Saturday’s final which took place at the Pandit Sahadeo Gymnasium in Vacoas was attended by Vice-President Vincent Meriton, along with a crowd of local fans who travelled all the way to the Games to bring their support to our athletes.

The first set started on a quite low tempo as both teams were being cautious and were more-or-less studying each other’s game, while the score changed hands all throughout, until the Malagasy team took a 19-17 lead.

They extended their lead to 22-19, 23-20 and 24-21, before winning the set 25-22 for a 1-0 advantage.

In the second set, Seychelles came out stronger, taking a 5-1 lead early on, maintaining it to 10-6, 14-9, 18-14 before Madagascar fought back to tie the set at 18-18.

From then on Madagascar controlled to lead 20-18, 21-19, 22-20 until Seychelles managed to catch up and equalise at 22-22 and 23-23. Madagascar then added two more points to win it 25-23 for a 2-0 lead.

Already eyeing a straight-set victory and the gold medal, the Malagasies did not know that the Seychelles team were not ready to give in but would make one of the Games’ greatest comebacks and enter the history books.

With Madagascar going for the kill and Seychelles attempting for survival, the third set was fiercely contested, keeping everyone inside the Pandit Sahadeo Gymnasium on the edge of their seats.

It was a give and take situation all throughout and the score remained close, with a single point difference most of the time.

Madagascar managed to take an important 20-18 lead, but Seychelles closed it to 23-22, before levelling the score at 23-23.

With the support of the fans, along with the Mauritian public who had joined forces to cheer for their ‘Dallons’, Seychelles added two more points to win the set 25-23, cutting Madagascar’s lead to 1-2.

Similar to the third, the fourth set was also tightly contested, with the score staying close all throughout.

When the score read 19-19, Seychelles scored four consecutive points and took a decisive 23-19 lead before Madagascar made it 23-20.

With only two points needed, Seychelles went on to win the set 25-20 to tie the match at 2-2.

Coming from two sets behind, the girls of coach Julien Onezime were not ready to let the win and gold medal slip away from them, so they entered the fifth and decisive set with more confidence and motivation for a victory.

Again, it was a very close affair with ties all the way – 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, 7-7, 9-9, 10-10 until Seychelles took an 11-10 lead.

It was a golden lead as Madagascar could not catch up as Seychelles marched on 12-10, 13-11, 14-11 and 14-12 before winning the set 15-12 and a third consecutive IOIG gold medal.

Team Seychelles received their medal from Vice-President Meriton.

To recap, for the 10th IOIG, Seychelles were drawn in pool B alongside Reunion and Maldives.

In their match, the girls beat Maldives 3-0 (25-12, 25-12, 25-23), while in their second group match against Reunion they closely lost 2-3. The set scores were 14-25, 28-26, 18-25, 25-18 and 11-15.

In the semifinal match against hosts Mauritius, Seychelles beat the ‘Dallons’ 3-1 (25-19, 19-25, 25-22, 25-20).

The bronze medal was won by Mauritius.

In the men’s competition, Mauritius captured the gold medal with a 3-0 win over Madagascar and Seychelles took the bronze medal.


The reaction of coach Julien Onezime: “We were aware that the Malagasies had given everything in the first two sets and noticed that they were exhausted, compared to our players who were still fit. We took the advantage and managed to close in on them. We talked to each player individually and instructed them on what exactly they had to do and they did. My greatest satisfaction is that we managed to come from two sets behind to win the gold medal with only one setter in the team.”


Team Seychelles: Petra Richard (captain), Maya Biong, Catherina Simon, Nayeli Etienne, Manuella Monthy, Angelique Adeline, Petrina Victor, Belira Jacqueline, Genevieve Nicette, Hillary Nourice, Attila Bonnelame and Vanita Rose.


Coach: Julien Onezime

Assistant coach: Olivier Sauer


Roland Duval in Mauritius




SEYCHELLES … Third consecutive IOIG gold medal win


Nayeli Etienne goes for the kill against the Malagasies


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