Micronesian Games medalist Raymond Santos competed in the 2020-2021 Oceania Weightlifting Federation League Tournament for the first time, while David Barnhouse made back-to-back appearances in the virtual event.
The two CNMI weightlifters were part of Pacific Team 2 that battled Fiji in the fifth round of the OWF competition held early this month. Santos, who won three silver medals in the 2014 Micro Games in Pohnpei, recorded a total of 215 kg in his debut in the league after registering 90 kg in the snatch and 125 kg in the clean & jerk. Barnhouse, also a veteran of the Micro Games and won gold medals in Pohnpei, posted the second-best score in Round 5 for Pacific Team 2 after logging 220 kg (95 kg in snatch and 125 in clean & jerk).
New Caledonia’s Kyle Michel was the best performer for Pacific Team 2 with his 244 kg (112 kg in snatch and 132 in clean & jerk). Other members of the squad were Vanuatu’s Frank Vira (135 kg) and Robinson Wotleen (185 kg), New Caledonia’s Quentin Mattei (220 kg) and Guam’s Vinci Levi Ebidag (183 kg). In the women’s division, Pacific Team 2 was represented by Guam’s Jacinta Sumagaysay (170 kg), Armie Almazan (160 kg), Brittney Pereda (170 kg), Nicola Lagatao (133 kg), and Dami Dabbin (125 kg) and New Caledonia’s Jessica Idjan (127 kg) and Prescillia Piotrowski (138 kg).
Pacific Team 2 combined for 1,427.30 kg (aggregate total minus squad’s total bodyweight), which was better than its record in Round 4 (1,240.55) against Australia. However, victory is still elusive for Pacific Team 2, as it fell short against Fiji, which registered 1,448.65 kg to enter the win column in the 10-team field.
Two more rounds are left in the competition and the penultimate one will be held on Nov. 27 and 28. Pacific Team 2 will try again to snap its losing skid, but it will need a major upset in Round 6 as the cellar dweller will take on pacesetter Samoa.
Samoa is undefeated after five rounds to gain the solo lead in the virtual tournament. Samoa kept its perfect record after dominating Kiribati in Round 5, 2,685.84 kg-1, 336.50 kg.
Slightly behind Samoa in second place are Australia (4-1) and New Zealand (4-1), while Kiribati (3-2) dropped to a tie for third with Nauru. Rounding out the standings are Pacific 1 (2-3), Papua New Guinea (2-3), Fiji (1-4), the Solomon Islands (1-4), and Pacific 2 (0-5).
New Zealand notched win No. 4 after topping the Solomon Islands in Round 5, while Australia downed PNG, and Nauru outclassed Pacific Team 1.