South Pacific Games 1991 - Papua New Guinea

September 7th - 21st

Papua New Guinea took on the job of hosting the 1991 SPG and did wonders as the hosts and in their quest to break the New Caledonian stranglehold since the 1966 games. Security concerns were brushed aside as sport once again became the talk of the country. Government funding for the Games was backed by the private sector who gave US12.2 million in cash and kind to bolster the coffers. 16 countries fronted up for the Games that once again had national pride at stake.

PNG dominated the sprint events in men's athletics while Fiji with runners like Davendra Prakash Singh with 3 gold medals and Binesh Prasad finally broke Alain Lazare's dominance of the long distance events. New Caledonia found their mark in the field events with the decathlon once again going to Albert Miller from Fiji. Jan Allred from Guam re-wrote the women's long distance record books with gold medals in the four long distance events. Marcus Stephen, Nauru's Commonwealth and future Olympic gold medallist set records in all events that he competed in.

The finals medals tally showed PNG well ahead on 44 gold of French Polynesia and New Caledonia on 30 and 29 respectively. Western Samoa edged ahead of Fiji by 19 medals to 13. PNG with their domination of sprints in athletics, weightlifting and most of the team sports like golf, bowls, softball and squash were well deserved champions. New Caledonia and French Polynesia dominated both sides of the swimming competition. Samoa won the rugby gold in the absence of Fiji who broke their run of outs with a nail-biting penalty kicks win over the Solomon Islands. A feature of the games was the number of overseas trained athletes from all countries as participants.   The new focus on corporate participation and sponsorship set another direction for the games and provided opportunities for smaller countries to bid for the Games.

PNG will be remebered for many things, not the least being the outstanding performances of the home team. But for those who were there, the lasting memories of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, the richness of PNG culture and its diversity and the friendliness of the people towards the visitors as well as towards each other during this time will linger long in the minds of all who witnessed it.

1991: Port Moresby, PNG

Country

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Total

PNG

44

29

27

100

French Polynesia

30

24

26

80

New Caledonia

29

29

27

85

Western Samoa

19

13

6

38

Fiji

13

30

23

66

Guam

10

11

16

37

American Samoa

9

6

8

23

Tonga

3

2

10

15

Vanuatu

3

2

2

7

Nauru

3

 

5

8

Cook Islands

1

4

6

11

Wallis & Futuna

 

6

12

18

Solomon Islands

 

5

2

7

Norfolk Island

 

3

 

3

Niue

 

 

 

 

Northern Marias.

 

 

 

 

Total

164

164

170

498

 




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