Cook Islands' lawn bowls pair win the country's first ever Commonwealth Games medal
9 Apr 2018
Bucket hats, sunglasses, chewing gum and all, this young bronze medal winning pair are proving lawn bowls success transcends age.
The men's pair of Taiki Paniani, 21, and New Zealand-born Aidan Zittersteijn (Ex-Spotswood College Student), 18, beat Malta 17-11 in the bronze medal match today.
Booming cheers were echoing from both ends of the green today as the pair's family and team were there to support basking in the historic achievement for the Cook Islands.
Coming off the green after their medal win for the pair were left almost speechless.
"I was only expecting to come in the top eight," Paniani told 1 NEWS.
The Taranaki 18-year-old, qualified to represent the Cook Islands through his maternal grandfather, was excited to help win the nation a medal.
With Paniani living and training in Rarotongo, and Zittersteijn in New Plymouth, the duo haven't had long to play together, but say the support between them is what got them the bronze.
"Me and Taiki, we just gelled really well, and we're always positive to each other," said Zittersteijn.