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Van Den Herik overcomes her biggest challenge on Day 2 of Samoa 2019

9 July 2019

SAMOA 2019: Paris Van Den Herik kicked off Australia’s Pacific Games sailing campaign in style on Tuesday, ending the opening day of racing in second place after finishing 2nd, 2nd and 4th in the Women’s Laser Radial.

She’ll enter tomorrow’s racing on 8 points, behind New Caledonia on 7 points and ahead of Samoa currently in third with 9 points.

Van Den Herik said she was stoked with her performance today, because it proved she’d overcome one of her biggest challenges – her mindset.

“I was obviously really happy with the two second-place finishes,” she said.

“But I was also happy with the fourth place, because I had made a mistake at the end of the first lap, and I was able to keep going and get back to fourth.

“Two years ago I didn’t even know what a positive or negative mindset was, and when I made a mistake I would have just lost confidence and basically given up. Even a year ago I wouldn’t have been able to turn that mistake around and come fourth.

“But it’s something I’ve been working on a lot with my coaches, and with the use of mindfulness apps, so it was great that I was able to stay positive and recover quickly today.

“My major goal for this regatta is consistency – and I showed that today. If I can keep being consistent, I could even drop that fourth-place finish from my end score.”

Women's Laser Radial at Samoa 2019

The 18-year-old from Darwin has recently moved to Brisbane to train out of the QAS. The Pacific Games are not only her first multi-sport event, but her first time overseas.

“It’s just insane being here,” she said. “The venue at the resort is so beautiful and the water is so clear and blue.

“It’s so great to meet everyone from all the other countries, there is a really positive, encouraging vibe here. Off the water everyone is congratulating each other, and even on the water today one of the Samoan sailors gave me a tip when she saw me trying to tack inside her.

“We’re also near the Va’a boats, and it’s insane seeing those 12-seater boats and how the big Pacific teams all chant to pump each other up before the beaches – it’s all so amazing.”

Van Den Herik will return to the Sheraton Resort tomorrow for the second day of racing, weather permitting.

In other Aussie Day 2 results, the men’s beach volleyball duo of Tim Dickson and Marcus Ferguson continued their winning form from Day 1, defeating Vanuatu in straight sets.

“It was a really fun game today,” Dickson said. “We had an Aussie crowd out there bringing really good energy. The Weightlifting boys came out and got a few cheers going, so it was a really good vibe and a great atmosphere.”

With back-to-back wins, the boys are straight through to Thursday’s quarterfinals.

Australia also has four archers in Samoa, competing in the Tokyo 2020 Archery Olympic Qualification Continental Tournament, which runs in conjunction with the Pacific Games. While the Aussies aren’t eligible for Pacific Games medals, they’ve got their eyes on the Oceania female qualification place for Tokyo 2020.

Astin Darcy finished first in the men’s qualification, followed by Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Alec Potts in second. Similarly, in the women’s event, Australia’s Alice Ingley placed first, followed by her teammate Deonne Bridger in second.

This means Australia has qualified in first place for tomorrow’s Mixed Team event, where Darcy and Ingley will combine to hunt down the female spot for Tokyo 2020.

Australia has already secured three male qualification places for 2020, so a victory in tomorrow’s Mixed Team event would secure Australia one female place for Tokyo, and therefore we would be eligible to also compete in the Mixed Team event in Japan. That would see Australia represented in 4 of the 5 Archery events in Tokyo: The Men’s individual, Men’s Team, Women’s Individual and Mixed Team.

Keep up to date with all the live news and results on the @AUSOlympicTeam Twitter, and go behind the scenes of the Games with the Beach Volleyball #OlympicTakeover on our Instagram story.

Plus you can follow the action live at olympics.com.au/live-stream.

Georgia Thompson

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