Three weightlifters represented the CNMI in the fourth round of the 2020-2021 Oceania Weightlifting Federation League Email Tournament held last Oct. 2 and 3.
David Barnhouse, Joshua Mettao, and Aaron Pamintuan suited up for the Commonwealth and Pacific Team 2 in the men’s division and were pitted against the second-running Australia Team. Barnhouse, who won three golds medals in the 2014 Micronesian Games in Pohnpei, had the best total among the three CNMI weightlifters and second best in Pacific Team 2 with his 222 kg. He had 102 kg in snatch and 120 in the clean and jerk. The Commonwealth belt was just slightly behind Pacific Team 2 top finisher Quentin Mattei of New Caledonia, as the latter recorded 223 kg (100 kg in snatch and 123 kg in clean and jerk).
Mettao had a total of 185 kg after his 85 kg in snatch and 100 kg in clean and jerk, while Pamintuan’s 75 in snatch and 94 kg in clean and jerk gave him 169 kg. Mettao, Pamintuan, and Barnhouse joined the 2020-2021 Oceania Weightlifting Federation League Email Tournament for the first time, as the CNMI was represented by Leo Apelo and Deion Sabino in the first three rounds and Brandon Regis in the second. In the women’s division, Antonette Labausa and Raegine Camacho competed in two out of the first three rounds, but missed the fourth where Guam’s Jacinta Sumagaysay emerged as the top performer for Pacific Team 2 after registering 185 kg.
The OWF competition is a virtual tournament being held in celebration of the group’s 40th anniversary and will run for seven rounds with the event that started in July wrapping up in January 2021. Each round, two countries are pitted against each other (men’s and women’s divisions combined), but in the CNMI’s case, it combined with weightlifters from New Caledonia, Palau, and Guam due to lack of enough participants to form Pacific Team 2. Pacific Team 1, on the other hand, is made up of weightlifters from the Cook Islands, Tahiti, Wallis & Futuna, Tonga, and Niue. Kiribati, Samoa, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, New Zealand, Fiji, and Australia have their own squads.
The Aussies defeated Pacific Team 2 in the fourth round, 2,309.76 kg-1,240.55 kg. Each team’s scores were determined by subtracting the squad’s total bodyweight from the aggregate total (the 14 members combined record in snatch and clean and jerk).
With the victory, Australia kept the No. 2 spot in the team standings, tying New Zealand and Kiribati, as the three squads hold identical 3-1 records. Samoa is still on top of the field with its unbeaten 4-0 mark, while Nauru (2-2), Pacific Team 1 (2-2), PNG (2-2), Solomon Islands (1-3), Fiji (0-4), and Pacific Team 2 (0-4) complete the rankings.
Samoa won the battle of undefeated teams in Round 4 after outclassing New Zealand, 2,721.33 kg-2,094.50 kg. In other fourth round results, Nauru downed Kiribati, PNG edged the Solomon Islands, and Pacific Team 1 beat Fiji.
Meanwhile, Round 5 of the virtual meet will be held on Oct. 30 and 31 with Samoa hoping to extend its streak when it faces Kiribati. Other pairings in the fifth round are New Zealand vs Solomon Islands; Australia vs PNG; Pacific Team 1 vs Nauru; and Pacific Team 2 vs Fiji.