CNMI Weightlifting Federation president John Davis believes the sport has strong potential at the grassroots level in the CNMI, especially after seeing some weightlifters for the first time in last Saturday’s qualifying event hosted by the local federation.
The CWF held its first-ever qualifying event last Saturday at the Latte Built 24-Hour Fitness and Nutrition Center. The event is part of CWF’s efforts of fielding a CNMI team that will compete in the 9th Micronesian Games in the Federated States of Micronesia.
CWF has yet to make a final announcement of the CNMI team that will be competing in the Micro Games, set from July 15 to 27 in Yap State.
Davis told Saipan Tribune that they saw a lot of potential in some newcomers, especially the six men and women youth athletes. “We’ve got some good athletes that we discovered here. Some young people that have raw talent that could be developed.”
He added that they plan to work on some of the youngsters to help the development of weightlifting in the Commonwealth.
“That’s why some of us are going to do developmental training with Elias Rangamar and Preston Basa. Joey Tudela and I have committed to do that and help out. We’re looking for the next generation of weightlifters,” said Davis.
Bonnylynn Cruz, who previously represented the CNMI in a number of weightlifting and CrossFit tournaments in Guam, supported Davis and Saturday’s event was nerve-wracking for her.
“I was excited for this, since this is first time that we have this kind of event. It was also nerve-wracking for me after seeing that I was the only senior against these young kids,” Cruz said with a laugh.
“The youth who participated has a lot of potential. The sport of weightlifting has a lot of potential to grow here in the CNMI. I grew up in playing sports, I just wished that we had this before,” added the former Polynesian dancer.
Cruz has also paddled for the CNMI in the Micronesian Cup three times and has won bronze in the women’s 69-kilogram division of the 2015 Micronesia Weightlifting Invitational in Guam.
Youth athletes Kassandra Camacho, Halle Kenty, Jamie Pangelinan, Lia Rangamar, and Eleina Santos joined Cruz in the women’s division of the qualifying event.
Cruz had lifts of 52kgs in the snatch, and 77kg in the clean, and jerk for a total weight of 129kgs.