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OCEANIA WRESTLING ON GUAM

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By Niko Baluon

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Guam’s Scott Duenas goes up against Australia’s Jaden Lawrence during the 2011 Oceania Championships in Western Samoa. (courtesy photo)

After almost a decade, Guam will be hosting this year’s Oceania Wrestling Regional Tournament at the UOG Field House and Gun Beach. From April 7-12, competitors from different countries (Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Australia, New Zealand, Guam, etc.) will be participating in seven different styles of wrestling.

Organizer Melchor Manibusan remembered the last Oceania Tournament held on Guam saying, “It was a great turnout. We sure hope for a better event this year.” Dedicated to Keitani Graham of Chuuk, a multiple Oceania champion and a participate in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, who passed away just last year, Manibusan hopes everyone comes out to support these ambitious and determined athletes.

Guam’s local athletes include the Lopez brothers (Joey and Micah Lopez), both being Oceania champions, Ethan Aguigui and Zach Flores (All-Island champions), and St. Thomas junior Jonah Whitt (silver medalist in Australian Youth Olympic Festival). With athletes like them, it’ll be no surprise to watch great entertainment.

Olympic Wrestling

With the news of wrestling being cancelled in future Olympic Games, Manibusan had something to say: “With wrestling being pulled out of the Olympic Games, this is our chance now to help save Olympic wrestling. With wrestling being the first sport to start the Olympics, it would be a shame to have it removed. It’s like giving kid cookies with no milk. So we ask all athletes, wrestlers, grapplers, MMA artisans, and fans to come out and support your local wrestlers and grapplers. To our neighboring islanders who are residents on Guam, come out and support your country.”

So come out and join in on the excitement of this upcoming tournament; you won’t regret it.

Schedule

Guam's Joey Lopez pulls a gut wrench during the 2011 Oceania Championships in American Samoa. (courtesy photo)

Guam’s Joey Lopez pulls a gut wrench during the 2011 Oceania Championships in Western Samoa. (courtesy photo)

April 7

The Referee Course

Greco Roman Weigh Ins – 6-8 p.m.; Bayview Hotel Ballroom

April 8

Greco Roman – 10 a.m. (elimination rounds)/6 p.m. (Finals); UOG Field House

Freestyle Weight Ins – 6-8 p.m.; UOG Field House

April 9

Freestyle – 10 a.m. (elimination rounds)/6p.m. (Finals); UOG Field House

Gi, No Gi Weigh Ins – 6-8 p.m ; UOG Field House

April 10

Gi, No Gi – 10 a.m. (elimination rounds)/6 p.m. (Finals); UOG Field House

Pankration, Amateur MMA Weigh Ins – 6-8 p.m.; UOG Field House

April 11

Pankration, Amateur MMA – 10 a.m. (elimination rounds)/6 p.m. (Finals); UOG Field House

April 12

Beach Wrestling – 4 p.m.; Gun Beach

High school champion Micah Lopez had some international experience as well during the 2011 Oceania Championships. (courtesy photo)

High school champion Micah Lopez had some international experience as well during the 2011 Oceania Championships. (courtesy photo)

Two Divisions

185lbs – under

186lbs – heavy weight

Appreciation BBQ – right after, Beach Bar (Gun Beach)

Divisions (Age):

Cadet: 14 – 15 (no MMA)

Junior: 16 – 20

Senior: 18 – 35

Entrance Fee:

FILA License: $150

Includes insurance; good for one year; enters any FILA event


Oceania Fee: $100 entry fee

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COMING SOON …

  • 3rd Quarter Sports: Rugby, Boys Basketball, Softball, Tennis in full swing!

 

 

QUICK HITS

The Guam men’s national basketball team moved up four slots in the FIBA World Ranking to #72 after an impressive win over Mongolia and a hard-fought loss to Japan.
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Shawn Bamba won the Arizona state wrestling championship while siblings Jussiah and Justyn took third place in their divisions at state.
Shawn (12th) won the 150-lb division while Jussiah (11th) took bronze in the 120-lb class and Justyn (9th) took bronze in the 106-lb category.
All three were born on Guam before moving to Surprise, Arizona in 2014, where they all picked up wrestling in 2016.
Their parents are Justin and Shannon Bamba from Pago Bay.

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