Samoa 2019 XVI Pacific Games has come to a close, with song, speeches and traditional fire dancing, ending a fortnight of sporting competition among 24 Pacific nations.
Almost 5,000 athletes attended the Games, making it the biggest Games. New Caledonia topped the medal table with 76 gold medals.
The closing ceremony began with many of the athletes, some wearing their medals, walking a lap of Apia Park Stadium athletics track, past the flaming cauldron, which had seen five days of action this week.
It ended with fire dancing and fireworks, including an illuminated "tofa soifua Pacific" message of farewell to the departing teams.
The Fijian anthem rang out two final times across a packed Apia Park Stadium to close the Samoa 2019 XVI Pacific Games athletics program, as Fiji spoilt PNG’s party by claiming gold in both the men’s and women’s 4x100m relays on Friday night.
Fiji’s women’s team of Younis Bese, Elenani Tinai, Makereta Naulu and Heleina Young caused a huge upset in their event, out-pacing favourites PNG.
Vanuatu’s Margaret Kuras made half marathon history at the Samoa 2019 XVI Pacific Games on Saturday as she won gold after running the 21-kilometre distance wearing only socks.
The shoeless champion proved the old adage that ‘you can take the girl out of the island, but you can’t take the island out of the girl’ as she secured victory in 1 hour, 29 minutes and 55 seconds at Apia waterfront, 15 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor, who was wearing shoes.
Papua New Guinea’s James Gundu proved that hearing and speech impairments were no barrier to success at the Samoa 2019 XVI Pacific Games as he claimed two bronze medals in long distance running as part of his country’s hugely successful athletics team.
The 26-year-old won bronze in both the men’s 10,000m and 5,000m at Samoa 2019, despite only being able to communicate with his coach and teammates via sign language.
Papua New Guinea was thwarted from filling all three spots on the podium for the women's 1500m when Guam made a surge to overtake and claim silver at the Samoa 2019 XVI Pacific Games.
Michlyn Poro Gahekave of Papua New Guinea took gold with a time of 4 minutes 42.04.
She was a picture of power and endurance, confidently taking the lead and lapping her competition with ease on her way to the finish line.
After the race Criss said she struggled in the first 800m as she began to fall behind the pack.
The fastest man in the Pacific, Fiji’s Banuve Tabakaucoro, ran close to defeat in the men’s 200m final the Samoa 2019 XVI Pacific Games on Thursday, but edged past Samoa’s Jeremy Dodson by four hundredths of a second to retain his title.
In a thrilling contest at Apia Park Stadium, Tabakaucoro was victorious in 20.87 seconds, inches ahead of Dodson who finished in 20.91 seconds. Papua New Guinea’s Theo Piniau snatched bronze in 21.70 seconds.
Papua New Guinea showed impressive endurance to claim another haul of medals on the track at the Samoa 2019 XVI Pacific Games on Tuesday, snatching all three places on the podium in the men’s 10,000 metres and winning a further three medals across the women’s and men’s 800 metres.
In front of a packed house at Apia Park Stadium, PNG secured all three gongs in the men’s 10,000m by a large margin, but less than five seconds separated their gold, silver and bronze athletes – Simbai Kaspar, Siune Kagi and James Gundu.
Australia had a successful first day at taekwondo, winning five of the six men's events at Samoa 2019 XVI Pacific Games.
The stand out match of the day was Alan Salek’s gold medal fight against the hometown favourite Kaino Thomsen. Thomsen took an early lead in the fight and remained out in front by a few points for the majority of the match, much to the delight of the roaring crowd.
The fastest man in the Pacific will be crowned later today, with medals up for grabs in five sports at the Pacific Games in Apia.
New Caledonia continue to lead the medals table from host nation Samoa, while a strong showing on the track lifted Papua New Guinea into fifth overall.
Papua New Guinea’s Karo Iga, the pole vault silver medalist at the Port Moresby 2015 XV Pacific Games, made his debut in the men’s decathlon on Monday at Samoa 2019, where neither rain nor clouds could dampen the mood of the afternoon.
The decathlon got underway at Apia Park Stadium with the 100m sprint followed by long jump, shot put, high jump and the 400m under the shadow of the Pacific Games torch blazing through the gloomy sky.
Iga, whose forte is the pole vault, one of the five remaining events of the men’s decathlon, currently sits at second place on the results table in his bid for a medal.
Pacific Games News & Results
This page brings all the latest Samoa2019 Pacific Games and news. We will also bring result updates as the games progress.
Pacific Games News Headlines