Sapong hands CNMI second gold


Zarinae Sapong closed out her campaign in the 9th Micronesian Games in style by claiming the gold medal in the 200m run last night in Yap.

After posting only the second fastest time (27.35 seconds) in the qualifying heat last Wednesday, the CNMI sprinter managed to record the best mark in yesterday’s finale after registering 27.01 seconds. Sapong defeated Guam’s Shania Bulala, who ruled the qualifying heat with a time of (27 seconds), but registered 27.25 seconds in the medal race to end up with the silver medal. Bulala’s compatriot Celina Amparo notched the bronze after checking in at 27.26 seconds.

Sapong also raced for the Commonwealth’s 4x400m relay team last night, joining forces with Therize Millare, Jerlyn Castillo, and Eleina Santos for a bronze-medal finish. The CNMI runners clocked in at 4:24.43 to place behind Guam (4:19.18) and Pohnpei (4:20.90).

In other results last Wednesday, Orrin Pharmin still had a strong showing in the last four events in octathlon. He recorded one first place finish, two third, and one fifth in the first four events and then added a top finish in the javelin (41.28m), fifth in the 110 hurdles (21.53 seconds) and high jump (1.25m), and third in the 1,000m run (3:18.34). Points corresponding to how participants finished in each of the eight events will be added to determine the Top 3 finishers in the octathlon (results were unavailable as of press time last night).

In the 800m run, N-nes Siech was ranked eighth after posting 2:30.93, while Beo Ngirchongor placed fifth in the 400m hurdles (1:01.12). Ngirchongor ran for the CNMI’s 4x100m relay team along with Traven Quitugua, Neldreyton Skerei, and Douglas Schmidt and the quartet finished sixth after clocking in at 45.48 seconds.

In the shot put, Kelvin Fitial was the CNMI’s best finisher (No. 5) after recording 11.35m, while Ronald Olopai and Antonio Ichiuo logged 9.36m and 8.72m, respectively.

With the athletics team adding two more medals yesterday and the CNMI getting a silver in the canoe competition, the Commonwealth now has a total of 15 (two golds, six silver, and seven bronze).

Guam moved back on top with its 26-12-12 tally, while Palau (21-7-8) and Pohnpei (9-20-11) complete the Top 3.

With the conclusion of the athletics and canoe competitions yesterday, the CNMI’s hopes for more medals now fall on baseball, weightlifting, ocean swim, and volleyball.
The ocean swim will start today with the individual races, while the relay is set for tomorrow. Weightlifting will kick off on July 24, while volleyball began yesterday with the CNMI (men’s team only) scheduled to face Kiribati.

Baseball team still perfect
The Patrick Tenorio-managed squad is now 3-0 following a 7-5 victory over Pohnpei yesterday.

The CNMI will go for the elimination round sweep today when it faces host Yap, which has yet to win after three matches and is likely to be booted out of the tournament. The Commonwealth, on the other hand, is assured of a Top 2 finish in the preliminary round regardless of the results of its game against Yap at 6pm.

In other results yesterday, Palau shut down Yap, 14-0, to bounce back from a 0-1 loss to the CNMI last Wednesday. Palau and the CNMI may likely face off anew this Saturday to battle for the first finals berth.

Men’s canoe team gets silver
The men’s canoe squad made up for its zero medal output in the opening day by winning a silver in the long distance race (15 miles).

Joshua Andrew, Jose Quan, Bobby Cruz, Maverick Itibus, Ketson “Jack” Kabiriel, and Dino Manning towed the CNMI to a runner-up finish in the final event in the canoe competition after reaching the Yap Marina in 2:17:42.2. The host took the gold medal after making it to the start/finish line in 2:16:14.1, while Pohnpei got the bronze after submitting 2:18:25.

In the women’s 10-mile race, Palau was the gold medal winner after checking in at 1:25:39.8, while Pohnepi bagged the silver, as it timed in at 1:30:36.27. Guam rounded out the podium finish after completing the race in 1:31:21.9.

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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