San Nicolas earns bronze in Mini Games

Angel San Nicolas proudly wears his bronze medal after placing third in the men’s 92-kg division of the weightlifting competition in the 10th Pacific Mini Games yesterday in Port Vila, Vanuatu. (Contributed Photo)

Angel San Nicolas will bring home a bronze medal as the CNMI weightlifter earned a podium finish in the 10th Pacific Mini Games yesterday at the Epauto Adventist High School in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

This is Team CNMI’s first Pacific Games medal since winning the baseball gold in the 2011 edition in Noumea, New Caledonia.

San Nicolas, after clearing 135 kilograms in the clean and jerk, made the grade following a successful 141-kg lift in the men’s 94-kg division. He failed in his final attempt in the clean and jerk, missing a second bronze medal in the snatch by just 1 kg. He had lifts of 103, 105, and 110 kgs in his three attempts in the snatch with the last one added to his clean and jerk record for a 251-kg total.

The Commonwealth bet was nosed out by Australian John Henry Downes, who missed his first attempt in the snatch, but rebounded by blearing 108 and 111 kgs to secure the bronze. The Aussie also ended up with a 251-kg total after a 140-kg lift in the clean and jerk. Downes earned the overall bronze as he was the first lifter to reach 251 kgs based on the results in the snatch.

With his bronze medal finish, San Nicolas said he is proud to give honor to the CNMI.

“It was not easy and I really had to fight for it. But it was really worth it,” he said.

The Mini Games bronze was also San Nicolas’ first major medal in the quadrennial meet. He previously won a silver medal in the 2015 Micronesia Weightlifting Invitational in Guam. San Nicolas’ podium finish somehow eased the pain of Ray Santos’ failed attempt to get a medal in the men’s senior 62-kg division last Monday.

In other results, Papua New Guinea ruled the three-day weightlifting competition, winning 14 gold and four silver medals. Fiji was second with a 9-5-10 gold-silver-bronze haul, while Samoa was ranked third after going home with eight gold and six silver medals.

With its domination in the weightlifting contest, PNG is also ahead in the overall medal standings with its 14-1-4 tally. Samoa is at second with 13-9-4, followed by Fiji (11-6-11), New Caledonia (10-7-4), and the Solomon Islands (4-3-1). Host Vanuatu is at No. 9 with two gold, two silver, and four bronze medals.

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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