Saipan to host South Pacific bodybuilding event

The CNMI’s John Davis, sixth right, joins other members of the South Pacific Bodybuilding Federation for a group photo after attending the SPBF Congress last month in Honiara, the Solomon Islands. (Contributed Photo)

Saipan will be hosting the 2021 South Pacific Bodybuilding Championships after winning the rights during last month’s competition and congress in Honiara, the Solomon Islands.

CNMI Bodybuilding Federation president John H. Davis said Saipan’s hosting of the annual event was announced by the South Pacific Bodybuilding Federation. The group also informed its members on Fiji’s hosting of next year’s championships, while the 2019 and 2020 editions will be a toss-up between Tonga and American Samoa.

The SPBF, which is recognized by the Pacific Games Council and the International Bodybuilding Federation, also discussed the competition rules for the coming years during the five-day congress.

Davis said that Saipan’s hosting of the SPBC would be a big boost to the sport in the CNMI, especially now that a number of individuals have already competed locally and in some off-island events.

“This is the first time that Saipan will be hosting the SPBC. Guam has hosted it before but it was not held there in 20 some years now. Saipan’s hosting would help build the sport here in the CNMI,” said Davis.

Jerome Iakopo, the cousin of bodybuilder and Northern Marianas Rugby Union president Stanley Iakopo, won a silver medal when Guam hosted the SPBC. Lori Bachman took the gold in the women’s division in 1996.

The SBPC will give more Saipan bodybuilders a chance to join a high-level competition and follow the footsteps of Iakopo and Bachman and Davis and Dr. John Joyner, who both participated in the Mr. Universe held in Guam.

“This is an opportunity for CNMI bodybuilders to step up. The SPBC is a prestigious event. This is their chance to compete in an international tournament without going off-island. We have more than three years to prepare,” he added.

The SPBF has nine other member nations in American Samoa, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Tahiti, Guam, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, and Samoa aside from the CNMI and the Solomon Islands.

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Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez has been covering local and international sports events for more than 15 years. His sports writing career started when he joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, when he was in college.

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