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PACIFIC ISLANDS TRIATHLON THIS WEEKEND

After Guam practically swept the 2013 podium with five of the six individual medals, it was almost a foregone conclusion that we will host the 2014 Pacific Islands Triathlon and Cycling Championships.

By Patrick Lujan

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After Guam practically swept the 2013 podium with five of the six individual medals, it was almost a foregone conclusion that we will host the 2014 Pacific Islands Triathlon and Cycling Championships.

The Guam Triathlon Federation welcomes triathletes and cyclists from Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Palau and CNMI for the fourth annual event that has been previously held in Tonga, Fiji, PNG and now Guam.

“This is specifically for the Pacific islands, similar to the Pacific Games and it’s done every year outside of the Pacific Games,” GTF President Mark Cruz said. “Last year was the first time Guam participated and we dominated the medals. After the event, all the countries voted that Guam should host the 2014 race.”

The Guam Cycling Federation is spearheading Saturday’s events with two road races for the Pacific Islands Cycling Championships:

Saturday (5:45 a.m. start at Leo Palace) 40K Pulantat Road Race; (4 p.m. start at Leo Palace) Leo Palace Time Trials

The Olympic distance triathlon will then take place Sunday morning with a 7 a.m. start at the Merizo Pier:

–  Swim portion in the Merizo Lagoon

–  Cycling portion from  Merizo Pier to Inarajan Garden House (two round trips)

–  Running portion from Merizo Pier to the base of Umatac (two round trips)

There will be approximately 70 cyclists participating on Saturday and around 170 triathletes expected on Sunday morning. There will also be a sprint distance triathlon for national developmental athletes.

Cutting Costs

According to Cruz, the GTF has managed to offset the visitors costs.

Gabe Lombard, the defending Pacific Islands Triathlon champion, looks to defend his title this weekend. (photo courtesy GTF)

Gabe Lombard, the defending Pacific Islands Triathlon champion, looks to defend his title this weekend. (photo courtesy GTF)

“The major constraint is cost, so we’ve had some very generous sponsors to include vans, beverages and snacks and the hotel rooms at Leo Palace,” Cruz said.

“All the (visiting) national teams will have zero accommodation expenses.”

Last year’s event in Port Moresby saw Gabe Lombard, Cameron O’Neal and Patrick Camacho sweeping the men’s medals while Aysha Perez (silver) and Rose Munoz (bronze) stool tall on the ladies side.

Those medalists are back to defend as well as Cairns Ironman Dave Torre and Ryan Snow as well as Johnathan Wilde are other top Guam athletes ready to go at it this weekend.

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QUICK HITS

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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Christian Delos Santos, son of Richard Delos Santos (Barrigada) and Norma Larimer Delos Santos (Dededo), won the Kentucky High School Athletic Association wrestling state championship in the 113-lb weight class.
His sister Naiya took 3rd place in the 100-lb girls division.

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