The government has paid out more than TP$60,000 to teams, individual athletes and sport federations which won medals for the kingdom at the Pacific Games 2019.
Tonga came seventh overall in the Pacific Games medal tally.
The kingdom’s athletes won a total of 29 medals, including nine gold, five silver and 15 bronze.
Top medal winners for Tonga were:
‘Aisake Tu’itupou, gold for the men’s 109kg+ , clean and jerk and 109kg+ overhead; bronze for men’s 109kg+ snatch; Mōsese Foliaki, gold for the men’s high jump and 110m hurdle; Malia Pāseka won bronze for the women’s 57-62kg taekwondo and Ato Maama Tu’utafaiva, won gold for women’s shotput and bronze for women’ discuss.
Other gold medal winners included Lile Loumoli for the women’s team taekwondo; Moala Takelo for the 80-87kg taekwondo; the men’s taekwondo team and Sēmisi Fanguna and Matavao Fanguna for the men’ tennis doubles.
How is prize money awarded?
The gold medalists received cash prize of $2,000 each while each silver and bronze medalist received $1,500 and $1,000 respectively.
The gold winning teams received $4,000 cash prize each, silver teams received $3,000 while the bronze received $2,000 each.
Each National Sports Federation which won a gold medal received $2,000, silver winners received $1,500 each while each bronze winner received $1,000.
The Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva thanked the athletes and coaches during a celebration at the Taufa’ahau Domestic wharf building last night for the biggest success in Tonga’s Pacific Games participation history. He also thanked the athletes’ parents for their supports.
The prize awards event was attended by the New Zealand and Australian High Commissioners as well as some Cabinet Ministers.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to show that more than TP$60,000 was paid out as prize money to Tonga’s Pacific Games medalists.