Hockey makes a welcome return to the Sol2023 Pacific Games after being absent from the last edition in Samoa.
Indeed, hockey (as an optional sport on the Pacific Games program) has only been contested a handful of times, with a men’s tournament running at Suva 1979 and Port Moresby 2015, and a women’s tournament played at Suva 2003, Apia 2007 and Port Moresby 2015.
Running from Tuesday 28 November to Friday 1 December, hockey will take place at the newly built National Hockey Centre at the eastern end of Honiara’s Sport City complex.
Oceania Hockey Federation (OHF) has confirmed that a total of six teams (the most to date) will compete in this edition in both the men’s and women’ competitions: Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu.
Fiji is the defending champions in both the men’s and women’s events. Last time out in the men’s competition, Vanuatu claimed silver and Papua New Guinea bronze, while the fortunes were reversed in the women’s competition (PNG won silver and Vanuatu collected bronze).
However, hosts Solomon Islands will be eyeing the podium here in Honiara.
The competition format will be 5-a-side hockey played in a round-robin competition, followed by semi-finals and finals.
In the opening matches of the competition, Samoa will meet Fiji in both men’s and women’s. The action begins at 8:30am on Tuesday.
By Binet Naqu, Pacific Games News Service