SPC surpasses Micro Cup expectations


Saipan Paddling Club members are in a close race with Palau and Guam teams in the men’s 1,000m event in the 2019 Micronesia Cup held in Koror over the weekend. (Palau National Olympics Committee Photo)

Team CNMI, represented by members of the Saipan Paddling Club, won five medals in the 2019 Micronesia Cup held in Koror, Palau over the weekend.

Up against the region’s top outrigger canoe teams, SPC did not disappoint, as it bagged silver medals in the 1,000m sprints for both men and women’s races and the men and women’s distance events, and bronze in the men’s 500m sprint.

According to SPC president Justin Andrew, Team CNMI also made it to the finals of the V1 event and though they missed the podium finish in the competition, the Commonwealth paddlers are pleased with their overall performance in the Micro Cup.

“It feels great to be able to represent the CNMI and do our best. We are happy with the results of the races and our performance was beyond what we expected. We knew home team Palau is always strong and we also knew that Guam would come to Palau with strong teams,” he said.

Andrew was part of SPC’s men’s crew, teaming up with his son Joshua, Carter Calma, Benusto Olopai, Glenn Muna, and Vincent Manahane. The women’s squad, on the other hand, had Sylvia Taggart, Gerlyn Libunao, Elizabeth Tenorio, Lorenza Aldan, Ma. Victoria Saures, and Kalea Andrew as members.

The SPC head said they managed to triumph in the Micro Cup despite going through challenging training conditions, as several typhoons hit the CNMI since last year.

“It’s been a tough year with natural disasters hitting us and everyone on the team trying to focus on training. But we did our best and remain focused on the races in Palau. The victories here really made all those sacrifices and hard work pay off and that really is a very good feeling,” Andrew said.

In other results, Guam‘s Taotao Galaide took the gold in the men’s 1,000m sprints, while the bronze medal was awarded to Belau Kanu Club.

For the women’s 1,000m sprint, Belau Kanu Club secured the gold, while Guam’s Team Poksai earned the bronze.

In the men’s 500m sprint, Guam’s Taotao Galaide got the gold, while Belau Kanu Club settled for the silver.

Taotao Galaide also dominated the men’s long distance race, while Belau Kanu Club finished third. Belau Kanu Club ruled the women’s long distance event and was joined in the podium by the SPC-Team CNMI and Taotao Galaide

In the men’s V1 division, Belau Kanu Club took the gold and silver, while Taotao Galaide bagged the bronze.

Saipan Paddling Club members make their way to the finish line during the women’s long distance event in the 2019 Micronesia Cup held in Koror, Palau over the weekend. (Palau National Olympics Committee Photo)

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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