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All 24 participating nations were celebrated at the closing ceremony.

Photo/Pacific Games News Service


Pacific Games 2023: That's a wrap!

This year's Pacific Games 2023 has seen records broken, hoodoos eclipsed and French Polynesian claiming final bragging rights as they dominated the medal tallies.

Vaimaila Leatinu'u
Aui'a Vaimaila Leatinu'u
04 December 2023, 5:34pm
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Arguably the most successful Pacific Games wrapped up over the weekend with plenty of high notes.

Held in Solomon Island's new $US71 million Honiara stadium, with funding from the Chinese government, the 2023 Games 10-000 seater venue hosted many historic moments including Niue winning their first ever gold medal.

Another was Tonga achieving their goal of taking the top spot in netball, going on better than the 2019 Games where they to the Cook Islands.

Tonga finally achieved their goal of Pacific Games netball gold. Photo/Pacific Games News Service/Paul Fefera

The Tongan Tala took on Fiji on Saturday and won a close game, 56-52, a "satisfying" victory according to Tongan captain Hulita Veve.

Speaking to Pacific Games News Service (PGNS) captain Veve says avenging their loss was unexpected.


“We never expected to win this gold. We [both] came out fighting, we both wanted to win," Veve says.

"To have it in our favour in the end is indeed sweet and refreshing. It was an inspiring end to a beautiful tournament."

Fiji settled for silver while Sāmoa defeated Papua New Guinea (PNG) 52-49 for the bronze.

Meanwhile Sāmoa added to their double gold win in touch rugby sweeping the third and final available gold medal.

Reigning champions PNG had to settle for silver. Photo/Pacific Games News Service/Rihanto Manuga

Having already won the men's and women's division, Sāmoa beat defending champions PNG 7-6 in the mixed division.

Midfielder Arran Rogers told PGNS that it was another tough battle with PNG.

"It went down to the wire, but it went our way," Rogers says.

“It’s a special moment for us because they took all three medals from us in Sāmoa. We’re happy to get a clean sweep this time," he says.

More highlights

This year also saw the first 100m wheelchair race introduced to the Games in an effort to increase inclusivity.

Despite a nightmare journey to simply touching down in the Solomon Islands, the Cook Islands women's 9s remained steadfast in securing their historic gold medal.

Tonga's "golden girl" took out the women's golf competition at just 16-years-of-age, fittingly the same amount of years since Fiji men's basketball last won gold, a drought they have now broken.

From it's spectacle of an opening two weeks ago, the Pacific Games has finally come to it's end, with New Caledonia and Tahiti living up to their reputation of having the most medals won all-time.

Final medal tally

New Caledonia started and finished strong, top of the tally with a total of 82 gold medals

Tahiti follows second after recently stealing the second position from Australia with a total of 57 gold medals.

Finally, Australia is in third with 50 gold.

Final total medal count

New Caledonia mirror their gold medal tally success with a total of 197 medals earned, while Tahiti follows in second with 160 then PNG with 105.

Other results

Fiji have 94 medals total, while Samoa holds 76 with Tonga holding 19 followed by Cook Islands at 18 then finally Kiribati at 11.

New Zealand ended the Games with a total of 35 with 10 gold, 13 silver and 12 bronze.

Keep up with us to keep up to date with all things Pacific via our site: pmn.co.nz or through our socials: Instagram, TikTok and X (formerly known as Twitter).

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