South Pacific Games 1971 - Tahiti

August 25th- September 5th 1971

Tahiti continued the trend of massive sporting infrastructure development that took place in order to cater for the increased number of sports and participants. Over US$3 million was spent on hosting a game that combined  the tourist image of Tahiti with a French emphasis on an orderly and well-run competitive. Held in perfect weather conditions for the duration of the game it was an opportunity to showcase the beauty of the islands and its people. The games results showed the impact of improved training methods and a more competitive approach to the games. An indicator of this was the breaking of 17 of the 22 men's athletics records.

New Caledonia dominated the games in the field events and swimming to finish with 33 gold medals. PNG showed they had continued to improve and were only five medals behind NC and six ahead of French Polynesia. Fiji showed they lagged behind the others and finished in fourth place. Usaia Sotutu from Fiji created another record by winning the long distance treble in running all in record times. One of the most exciting track finishes was the photo finish that placed New Caledonia just ahead of Fiji in the men's 4 X 100m finals. Marie-Jose Kersaudy once again dominated the women's swimming with another seven gold medal haul. PNG's Charlie Martin was the other dominant  individual in swimming with six gold medals. New Caledonia hammered New Hebrides 7-1 in the finals and calls were made for a round robin system to ensure the two best teams played in the finals. The games ended with a huge carnival like atmosphere in the main arena in Papetee.

1971: Papeete, Tahiti

Country

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Total

New Caledonia

33

32

27

92

PNG

28

28

21

77

French Polynesia

22

24

24

70

Fiji

16

17

13

46

Western Samoa

9

3

5

17

Tonga

4

3

4

11

Guam

2

3

8

13

Wallis & Futuna

2

1

6

9

Solomon Islands

 

2

2

5

American Samoa

 

2

12

14

New Hebrides

 

1

4

5

Cook Islands

 

3

 4

Gilbert & Ellice

 

 

 

 

Nauru

       

Total

117

117

129

363




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