Let the Games begin, says Solomons

SOLOMON Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has launched the countdown to the 2023 Pacific Games by handing the baton to be carried across the island nation.
Let the Games begin, says Solomons Let the Games begin, says Solomons Let the Games begin, says Solomons Let the Games begin, says Solomons Let the Games begin, says Solomons

Manasseh Sogavare holds the paddle-baton aloft to herald the countdown to the Pacific Games

Staff Reporter

The Games baton launch also marked the 100-day countdown to the Games' opening ceremony on November 19.
The baton, designed as a paddle, is now being taken to all the provinces in the Solomons.
Most of the Games events will be staged at the newly built national stadium in Honiara on November 19. 
The games will run for two weeks through to December 2.
It is the first time that Solomon Islands will host the games, at which more than 5000 athletes will compete from 24 participating countries across 24 sporting codes and 11 venues.
Winners of sporting events, such as archery and boxing, directly qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics.  
Ranking points for athletics, taekwondo, and weightlifting will also go towards Paris Olympics. For swimming, qualifying times will be recognised. 
Formerly known as the South Pacific Games, it was renamed the Pacific Games in 2015 with the inclusion of Australia and New Zealand.
The 24 Pacific Island nations and territories include: American Samoa, Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Norfolk Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Wallis and Futuna.
As always, anything that happens in the Pacific becomes political football between China and the Western world. 
China funded the $75 million stadium which will officially be handed over to the Solomon Islands government on August 18.
Not to be left out of things, Australia donated $17 million towards the games, which was drawn from Australia's annual aid budget.


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