There were plenty of tears when Brisbane’s Erika Ropati-Frost broke through to win two gold medals in the 53kg division.
The smiling 28-year-old said the competition was one of the highlights of her career.
“It’s definitely right next to the bronze from Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, it’s very special,” she said.
“I couldn’t hold the tears back. To win the first gold for Australia at the Pacific Games is an absolute honour, it’s overwhelming.”
The three times Commonwealth Games athlete said her final snatch of 82kg set up the win.
“Going into it I didn’t know what to expect, it was all about playing the game, tactics,” she said.
“For the snatch I was really excited, it was good nerves. I knew I was strong enough. I think I put myself in a gold medal position.”
Ropati-Frost’s main rival, PNG’s Dika Toua, found the early going tough.
In front of a passionate home crowd, Toua suffered three unsuccessful lifts in the snatch, only to come back on the platform for the clean and jerk and lift a huge 110 kilograms, more than double her body weight.
Ropati-Frost lifted 97kg on her first attempt and was unsuccessful on 104kg on her second and third try.
“I think I wasn’t as fired up (in the clean and jerk) as I’d usually be because I knew I had the overall win,” Ropati-Frost said.
“The crowd was fantastic, one of the best crowds I’ve ever competed in front of.
“PNG did a good job getting the crowd in, it looked sold out and had a great vibe.”