Open water swimming provided the first two gold medals of Samoa 2019 ©Samoa 2019

Tahiti's Rahiti De Vos and New Caledonia's Charlotte Robin were crowned open water swimming champions as the first medals of the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games were claimed.

All eyes were focused on the Sheraton Samoa Beach Resort Mulifanua on the first morning of sporting action here, with the men's and women's five kilometres open water races the only medal events of the day.

The events delivered familiar winners with De Vos and Robin also enjoying success at the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby.

De Vos won six gold medals in the pool four years ago but finished runner-up in the open water event, which had been reduced to 3km due to bad weather.

The full 5km distance was contested today and De Vos upgraded to gold.

The Tahiti swimmer finished the five-lap course in 1 hour, 3min and 42sec.

He held off New Caledonia's Hugo Savignac who finished one second off the pace.

Savignac's compatriot Benoît Rivière completed the podium places in third.

Further medal success for New Caledonia arrived swiftly, with Robin leading a one-two in the women's race.

New Caledonia's Charlotte Robin defended her women's open water title ©Samoa 2019
New Caledonia's Charlotte Robin defended her women's open water title ©Samoa 2019

The defending champion had carried the Kanak flag at yesterday’s Opening Ceremony – one of the two flags used by New Caledonia.

And the Opening Ceremony exertions appeared to have no impact on her performance as she retained her title in 1:10.39.

It proved a comfortable margin of victory for Robin, who celebrated the third Pacific Games gold medal of her career.

Her team mate Maïana Flament secured silver after finishing 1:02 off the pace.

Matelita Buadromo gave Fiji their first medal of the Games by securing bronze, the 18th Pacific Games medal of her career.

The 23-year-old has now won 11 silvers and seven bronze at the Games, but is still seeking an elusive gold.

The focus on swimming competition will now switch to Samoa Aquatic Centre, where 40 medal events will take place from tomorrow to Saturday (July 13).