For the first time in its 68-year history, the Commonwealth Games were held in Asia. The XVI Games, held in Kuala Lumpur were also the first Games to feature team sports – including Cricket, Hockey, Netball and Rugby Sevens - an overwhelming success that added large numbers to both participant and TV audience numbers.
In front of 20,000 fans at the Petaling Jaya Stadium, rugby sevens in particular were an enormous success with New Zealand collecting its 100th Commonwealth Games medal with a 21–12 win over plucky Fiji, (the reigning world champions). Man of the match was the giant Jonah Lomu who had worked tirelessly during the 10-minutes-each-way final. Led by veteran star David Campese, Australia took the bronze beating Samoa 33–12.
A new record of 70 countries sent a total of 5,065 athletes and officials to the Kuala Lumpur Games. The top five countries in the medal standing were Australia, England, Canada, Malaysia and South Africa. Nauru also achieved an impressive haul of three gold medals. Tuvalu and Kiribati debuted.
Fifteen sports were featured in the Kuala Lumpur Games – Athletics, Aquatics (Diving, Swimming & Synchronised Swimming), Badminton, Boxing, Cricket, Cycling, Gymnastics, Hockey, Netball, Lawn Bowls, Rugby Sevens, Shooting, Squash, Tenpin Bowling and Weightlifting.
The host nation achieved its best-ever haul of ten gold medals (since surpassed by its achievement in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, where Malaysia won twelve).