SOL23: Gold medals flow for Nauru in powerlifting

Nauru’s Mahaasin Daoe won gold in the men’s 66kg. Photos: Peter Kofana, Pacific Games News Service

Nauru continues to maintain its show of strength in the Sol2023 Pacific Games powerlifting competition, taking home gold in the men’s raw open (59kg and 66 kg) categories and also in two heavyweight (74kg and 83 kg) categories on Wednesday at Maranatha Hall.

The event at today was divided into two sessions, first with the 59 kg, where Blanco Wharton of Nauru, who recently won open silver at the Melbourne 2022 Oceania Powerlifting Championships, clinched the gold medal with an impressive total lift of 480kg, consisting of a 170kg squat, a 120kg bench press, and a 190kg deadlift.

The silver and bronze spots were claimed by two powerful Papua New Guineans, Kalau Andrew and Martin Taitus. Kalau displayed exceptional strength, lifting 180kg in the squat, 100kg in the bench press, and 190kg in the deadlift, accumulating a total of 470kg. Martin settled for silver with a total lift of 470kg, showcasing a balanced performance across all disciplines.

It was another gold for Nauru in the men’s 66kg event, as Mahaasin Daoe displayed exceptional strength lifts of 210kg in the squat, 125kg in the bench press, and a whopping 230kg in the deadlift, resulting in an impressive total of 565kg. Kaiti Tentau of Kiribati secured silver with a total lift of 540kg, showcasing remarkable strength across all three disciplines. Rocky Manisui Ramo from the host nation, Solomon Islands, claimed the bronze medal with a total lift of 470kg, reflecting a strong effort in the face of tough competition.

Session 2 brought even more excitement, with Nauru continuing their dominance. In the 74kg event, Brocka Scotty stood atop the podium with a gold medal-winning total of 640kg. Anderson Mangela from Papua New Guinea earned the silver with a total lift of 625kg, and Klensman Fugui of Solomon Islands took home the bronze with a total of 545kg.

The 83kg event showcased another impressive performance by Nauru’s Deamo Baguga, who lifted an astounding total of 717.5kg. Baguga’s impressive lifts of 265kg squat, 145kg bench press, and 307.5kg deadlift defended his title as a gold medallist. Bagagu is also known for breaking the deadlift world record twice in his weight class (83kg). Marc Lisan from Tahiti took silver with a total lift of 652.5kg, and Gurudyal Samuel Singh from Niue settled for bronze with a total lift of 572.5kg.

Overall, the powerlifting championships highlighted the incredible strength and determination of all participating athletes. Nauru’s dominance in various categories underscored their commitment to excel in powerlifting.

By Jacklyn Kutia, Pacific Games News Service