South Pacific Games 2003 - Fiji

2003 Twelfth South Pacific Games, Suva, Fiji

June 28th-July 12th

 


Suva played hosts for the 12th SPG widely regarded as the best and biggest games. Government funding aided by a generous Chinese government aid package saw the construction of a new gymnasium and indoor sports center, swimming pool and stadium, hockey pitch and stands as well as the upgrading existing facilities for other sports.

 

A strong corporate sponsorship package a first for the games enabled the organizers to work with a free hand towards their aims of making the games a success. A colorful and effective media and publicity campaign generated much interest and enthusiasm among the public in Fiji. Schools and youth groups were involved in interactive programs such as the adopt-a-country program.

 



The last Games held in Suva during 1979 was touted as the last of the "super games" inanticipation of down sized games from there on. 2003 SPG proved this wrong. And the 2003 SPG in Suva was another super games in all aspects. For starters there were over 300 medal ceremonies with over 860 presentations and 2,300 individual medals. Fittingly Fiji won the first gold medals of the games in women's archery. From archery to weightlifting and all sports in between competition was intense.

 


Eventual medal tally top three New Caledonia, Fiji and Tahiti quickly established themselves as front-runners. Fiji topped the athletics medal count to add to their best ever medal haul at the SPG. Sports like boxing attracted full houses and intense competition with Samoa, Fiji, PNG and Tahiti weighting in with medals. Guam retained its dominant place in baseball winning their second gold medal. An exciting cricket final saw PNG overcome Fiji by the single run for the gold medal. Football, a popular games sport, attracted good numbers and was one of the sports that was held in venues other than Suva. Fiji won an exciting final over New Caledonia in the
men's final while PNG took out the first ever women's football gold medal in a round robin format.

 

New Caledonia dominated the golf competition after Neelkash Ram from Fiji with a dominant lead in the men's competition was disqualified for not signing his scorecard. Fiji won the women's hockey gold in the first ever competition at the SPG. Martial arts based sports like Judo, Karate and Tae Kwon Do had their own exciting competitions with teams from Fiji, New Caledonia and Tahiti being dominant. The picturesque sport of lawn bowls saw Fiji maintain their regional dominance as they did in netball in an exciting finish over PNG.

 


Pacific culture based sports like outrigger canoeing saw stiff competition between traditional rivals Tahiti and New Caledonia. Fiji weighed in well in powerlifting and their rugby sevens team scored a popular win for the gold medal with surprise finalists Cook Islands. Clay shooting was another new sport for the games with Tahiti outgunning Fiji by 4 gold medals to 2. Tonga and Tahiti surfed to gold at Tavarua while the swimming pool in Suva saw New Caledonia take home more than half the total gold medals on offer. Fiji came from well back to take out the touch rugby gold medal. Tahiti and New Caledonia spiked to gold medal win in the volleyball competitions. Little Nauru lifted their way to glory in weightlifting once again.

 

Officially the final medal tally of the SPG does not recognize 'the winner of the Games". True to the spirit of the games competition and fairplay are the winners. The final medal is for record keeping. A tally of wins in the three categories of medals. The 2003 SPG saw a celebration of competition in true Pacific style with all countries and participants true winners.

 



Medal Tally 2003: Suva, Fiji

 


Country

 

Gold

 

Silver

 

Bronze

 

Total

 

New Caledonia

 

93

 

73

 

74

 

240

 

Fiji

 

65

 

59

 

53

 

177

 

Tahiti

 

55

 

28

 

40

 

123

 

PNG

 

33

 

26

 

17

 

76

 

Nauru

 

24

 

20

 

2

 

46

 

Samoa

 

18

 

17

 

20

 

55

 

Tonga

 

6

 

9

 

5

 

20

 

Guam

 

6

 

6

 

6

 

18

 

FSM

 

3

 

5

 

3

 

11

 

Vanuatu

 

2

 

9

 

8

 

19

 

Kiribati

 

2

 

2

 

8

 

12

 

Cook
Islands

 

1

 

6

 

11

 

18

 

Solomon Islands

 

1

 

5

 

8

 

14

 

Wallis & Futuna

 

 


4

 

5

 

9

 

Norfolk
Island

 

 


3

 

4

 

7

 

American Samoa

 

 


3

 

1

 

4

 

Palau

 

 


1

 

3

 

4

 

Northern
Marias
.

 

 


1

 

1

 

2

 

Tokelau

 

 


1

 

 


1

 

Niue

 

 


 


5

 

5

 

Marshall Islands

 

 


 


 


 


Tuvalu

 

 


 


 


 


Total

 

309

 

278

 

274

 

861

 


 




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