Pacific Mini Games bronze medalist Angel San Nicolas will be leading the Commonwealth’s medal hunt in the 2018 Micronesian Games in Yap in July.
San Nicolas was included on the five-member CNMI national weightlifting team that will be competing in the quadrennial sporting event set from July 15 to 27.
Joey Tudela and newcomer Rodrigo Ada will be joining San Nicolas, the 2017 Northern Marianas Sports Association Male Athlete of the Year, in the men’s division squad, while Bonny Cruz and Antonette Labausa made up the women’s side.
The five athletes were selected after joining the one-day qualifying event hosted by the CNMI Weightlifting Federation last February at the Latter Built 24-Hour Fitness and Nutrition Center.
San Nicolas, who clinched the bronze in the 10th Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu last December and took the silver medal in the 2015 Micronesia Weightlifting Invitational in Guam, had a total lift of 235 kgs—105 kgs in the snatch, and 130 kgs in the clean and jerk—in the senior men’s 105 kgs category during the qualifying tournament. His record in the qualifier was 16 kgs short of the 251 kgs he lifted when he finished third in last year’s Mini Games held at the Epauto Adventist High School in Port Vila.
Tudela, who had also represented the CNMI in several regional competitions, had lifts of 90 and 105 for a 195-kg total in the senior men’s 85 kg division, while Ada had 141kgs (55 kgs snatch; 86 kgs clean and jerk).
Cruz, on the other hand, won a bronze medal in the women’s 69 kgs division in the 2015 Micronesia Weightlifting Invitational in Guam. She lifted 52 kgs in the snatch and 77 kgs in the clean and jerk in her final attempts for a total of 129 kgs during the Micro Games qualifier two months ago.
Cruz and the Commonwealth’s four other representatives to the this year’s Micro Games face a tough task of duplicating if not surpassing the CNMI’s medal haul in the 2014 edition of the meet held in Pohnpei.
The CNMI won 12 medals in Pohnpei with David Barnhouse, Jr. delivering three golds, Raymond Santos and Leo Apelo contributing three silvers each, and Salvi Villanueva bringing home three bronzes. In the overall medal tally, the Commonwealth collected 14 golds, 15 silvers, and five bronzes.