Weightlifters earn 6 more gold medals

Posted on Jun 24 2022

Team NMI weightlifters pose for a photo after the weightlifting competition of the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022 at the Marianas High School Gymnasium. Front left sitting, Pipit Ball and Reilla Ann Ichiuo. Middle row from left, Antonette Labausa, Ray Castro, Jason Limes, Leo Apelo, Joey Cosilao, Joey Tudela, and Cheyanne Manuel. Back from left, Emmanuel Aquino and David Barnhouse.(LEIGH GASES)

On the last day of the weightlifting competition for the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022 at a fully packed Marianas High School Gymnasium, David Barnhouse, Jason Limes, and Joey Colisao managed to dominate the competition with six gold medals.

A day prior, two NMI women lifters—Antonette Labausa and Riella Ann Ichiuo—brought home silver and bronze, respectively.

In yesterday’s competition, Barnhouse was one of two lifters in the 109-kg weight class with Timothy Vakuruivalu of Fiji putting up a fighting effort on each of his lifts.

Barnhouse completed four of six of his lifts and managed to hold off Vakuruivalu in the end when he successfully lifted 136kg for his best and final lift, giving him the gold for all categories including the Oceania Weightlifting Championships.

Maria Frica Pangelinan, who raised Barnhouse since he was a 1-year-old, told Saipan Tribune after the event that Barnhouse’ “commitment and efforts paid off for the CNMI, but credit should also go to Mr. [John] Davis and Ms. Jean Rayphand for their perseverance despite all of the challenges—no place to practice, least attention and assistance provided, but they knew all along that they will be a major contributor to earning more gold for the CNMI.”

In the +109kg weight class, Colisao completed all six of his lifts which got him the gold for the snatch portion, with his best lift of 118kg. Limes came in third in the snatch to bag bronze with his best lift of 110kg.

Colisao completed all his lifts for the clean & jerk as well with his best lift of 141kg, but Limes lifted more with his best lift of 150kg, giving Limes the gold in the clean & jerk and overall weight and Colisao the silver.

In their weight class, Limes then won gold for the Oceania Weightlifting Championships and Colisao won silver.

Limes told Saipan Tribune after the competition that he is more than excited for bagging three gold and one bronze. “I’m just more than happy that it’s over. I’ve been stressing over this for over a year.”

Colisao, the youngest lifter for NMI’s weightlifting team at 20 years old, said after the competition that it was his first international competition and that he felt good about it. “I treat it more like just another day of training.” He said he was not nervous at all.

He added that he dedicates his win to his “family and friends. They’re the ones that got me here with everything that’s been going in my life. They’re the ones who gave me rides to training and all that. I want to thank my mom especially because she’s been putting it with me ever since I came back to Saipan and she’s been a great help.”

In the women’s 81kg weight class last Wednesday, Antonette Labausa brought home three silver medals, one for the snatch category with her best lift of 76kg, one for the clean & jerk category with her best lift of 97kg, and one for winning overall in her weight class with a total lift of 173kg. She won silver as well for the Oceania Weightlifting Championship.

In the same weight class, Riella Ann Ichiuo brought home the bronze medal for the snatch category with a lift of 61kg.

Labausa, the seven-year weightlifting veteran and one of the coaches for the team, told Saipan Tribune yesterday that during her competition day, she was “just really excited. I had a lot of friends and family here to watch me and I think it really helped me hype myself up and I was enjoying myself. I just tried to hit my best numbers and I’m glad that I attempted most of my best numbers.

When asked how she felt about the team’s performance overall, she said “I’m really proud of them. Honestly, they actually exceeded my expectations. I don’t like to be too arrogant, but I was expecting some medals. But I think this exceeded my expectations. So, it was really awesome to see and I’m happy because even the newer guys… were able to come out with some hardware, some gold, so I’m really happy.”

Yesterday wrapped up the weightlifting competition of the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022.

Leigh Gases
Leigh Gases is the youngest reporter of Saipan Tribune and primarily covers community related news, but she also handles the utilities, education, municipal, and veterans beats. Contact Leigh at leigh_gases@saipantribune.com.
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