Pohnpei celebrates the 37th Liberation Day Games

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
September 12, 2016
Pohnpei, FSM— For 37 years Pohnpei has celebrated its liberation from Japanese occupiers who held Pohnpei since they took it from Germany during World War I. For many years the Liberation Day celebration has been preceded by games culminating on September 11. This year’s ceremony was held on September 12.
On September 11, 1945, U.S. Naval forces accepted the surrender of Japanese forces in Pohnpei and raised the American flag ending the Japanese occupation here.
The games, which involved friendly competition amongst the municipalities and the outer islands have been going on for several weeks now. Sports competition included track and field which was done on September 12 at PICS Track. With 15, Nett took the largest number of gold medals in those competitions, followed by Sokehs which took a total of 34 medals compared to Nett’s 29 but managed 8 gold medals. Kitti also had 8 gold medals. The municipality had a total of 30 medals.
Nett men and Sokehs women took the Micro All Around.

Kitti had 12 gold medals in wrestling, followed by Nett which had 10, and Sokehs which had two.
In weightlifting, Mwoakilloa dominated with four gold medals followed by Kitti with three and Kolonia with one. They were the only municipalities to enter competitors as best as we could tell from the medal tallies sent after press deadline.
In Baseball, Kolonia won the gold, followed by Kitti with the silver, and Nett with the bronze.
We were unable to decipher exactly what happened in basketball because of the way the results were labeled other than to say that Kolonia score a gold and a silver medal in what the results way were “men and women” competitions. Kitti scored a silver and Nett a bronze in men’s competition, and Kapingamarangi scored a gold, and Sokehs a bronze in women’s competition.
In football, Kolonia edged out Nett in championship play for the gold medal in a score of 3-2. Kitti got the bronze medal. One team lost out due to forfeiture after they showed up over an hour late.
Again, due to the labeling difficulty of the medals tally it is difficult for us to determine what exactly happened in softball other than to say that in Men’s and Women’s events Kolonia scored a gold and a bronze. In men’s and women’s events Nett scored a bronze and a silver. The results don’t say which is which and it was impossible for any single person to attend all of the events. U took the gold for women’s competition and Madolenihmw took the silver for men’s events.
Nett, Kolonia and Madolenihmw put up teams for the canoe race which borrows the Polynesian term Va’a for the races. Nett’s men and women apparently scored a gold medal in that event. Kolonia’s women took silver as did Madolenimw’s men.
In volleyball Kitti dominated with both men and women’s teams taking gold in fierce competition. Nett’s men took silver and Madolenihmw’s men took bronze. In women’s competition, Nukuoro took silver and Kolonia took bronze.
The swimming events wer held on the day of the plenary session for the Pacific Island Forum. Organizers say that more than 300 spectators were there for the events. Nett won 16 Gold, 10 Silver, and 8 Bronze medals. Kitti had 2 Gold, 7 Silver and 9 Bronze medals. U had four Gold, 5 Silver and 4 Bronze medals. Kolonia won one Bronze medal.
The results from swimming were not incorporated into the overall medal tally which is still incomplete.
Last year Pohnpei boxers held an exhibition match in conjunction with the Liberation Day games. This was the first year that boxing has been included as a medal sport in the Liberation Day games.
Not all of those who wanted to compete were able to do so for safety reasons. Organizers say that potential boxers were not allowed to participate until they had been screened by the FSM Boxing Federation. “We require countless hours of training before they can even get in the ring to spar let alone compete,” he said. “Safety is our main concern and will only put someone in the ring when they are good and ready. We don't want it turn out to be a backyard brawl. Technique and conditioning is very important.”
KPress simply doesn’t have space to list all of the winners and runners up of each sporting event but since this was the first officially recognized boxing tournament for the Liberation Games we will recognize the competitors in each event. Blood did flow and there was one knock down, but no one was severely injured.
Lightweight: Sean Irons of Nett over Devon Linus of Sokehs
Welterweight: JT Edmund of Nett winner over Kurt Ramires of U
Welterweight: Dalton Kihleng of U winner over Mark Abello of Nett
Middleweight: John Joseph of U winner over Mike Abello of Nett
Main Event- Light Welterweight: Royce Rott of Kolonia Town winner over Kenneth Edmund of Nett
Organizers did not present actual physical medals.

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