Okawa triumphs in DC Classic


Javin Okawa strikes a pose during the awards ceremony for the 2020 Dee Clayton Classic Bodybuilding and Fitness Championship last Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Saipan Ballroom. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Kagman resident Javin Okawa regained his top form in time to win in the 2020 Dee Clayton Classic Bodybuilding and Fitness Championship held last Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Saipan Ballroom.

Okawa took the overall first place honors in the men’s physique category, won the short class in the same division, and was also adjudged as best in abs in his second appearance in the annual competition.

“After the COVID-19 pandemic hit, I lost some muscles, so I kind of started all over again. I did a lot of catching up and pushed myself harder in the last five months to get into shape again,” said Okawa, who trains at Gold’s Gym and Latte Built.

Leonardo Sanchez poses for the judges. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Okawa was ranked second in the short class category when he debuted in the Dee Clayton Classic and in his return to the tournament, he defeated Leonardo Sanchez, Francis Enriquez, Jiao Chun Ye, and Jun Lagmay for the overall men’s physique.

Sanchez is another returnee to the competition and this year prevailed in the men’s classic physique.

Like Okawa, Sanchez also faced challenges preparing for the Dee Clayton Classic because of the pandemic.

“With the gyms closed in the first few months after the pandemic hit, I had to train on my own at home—sort of DIY on my diet meals, workout, and everything,” said Sanchez, who joined the tournament for the fourth time and got his second victory. He won in the teen category a few years ago and was third in the short class in 2019.

Organizer Dee Clayton, fifth left, joins participants in the 2020 Dee Clayton Classic Bodybuilding and Fitness Championship for a group photo last Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Saipan Ballroom. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Meanwhile, other top winners in this year’s Dee Clayton Classic were Lagmay, Ye, and Christina Tudela.

Tudela ruled the bikini class, defeating Jamila Alegre.

Tudela said it took her four months to prepare for her debut in the annual tournament and since she can’t train when facilities closed at the onset of the pandemic, she had to set up a “home gym.”

Christina Tudela strikes a pose for the judges. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

“I had high body fat percentage so I trained almost two hours per session and work out from Monday through Saturday,” the San Vicente resident said.

Meanwhile, Ye and Lagmay won in the tall class men’s physique and bodybuilding, respectively. Lagmay, a veteran in the bodybuilding contest, also took the best poser award.

This year’s Dee Clay Classic saw a significant drop in the number of participants—from a record 28 in 2019 to seven, but organizer and founder Dee Clayton understood the decrease in the turnout because of the pandemic.

Jun Lagmay flexes his muscles. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

“It’s important that we’re able to hold something for our athletes, who have been training for a long time stay active and keep their form amid this pandemic. We have to move on and do something while still following safety measures against COVID-19,” Clayton said.

She also thanked the following companies for supporting last Saturday’s event: Megabyte Computer, Hyatt Regency Saipan, Latte Built 24/7 Fitness and Nutrition Gym, Michelob ULTRA, Gold’s Gym, Island Floral, and Topnotch.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.
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