Micronesian swimmers bring home medals and set records in Palau

By Susan Kihleng


April 10, 2019

FSMSwimFSM—Nine swimmers from the Federated States of Micronesia participated in the First Annual Micronesian Swimming Championships held in Koror, Palau from April 4 through 7.  Swimmers from the Marshall Islands, Saipan, and Palau also competed.

The first three days involved pool competitions.  The 4th day included a 5K ocean swim for the competitors aged 13 and over and a 1K ocean swim for the competitors aged 12 and under.

The team had been told that since the competition was FINA sanctioned that it would swim as Team FSM.  On arrival in Palau they learned that they were actually representing Pohnpei since the Championships were held using Micronesian Games rules.  Though all swimmers currently live in Pohnpei, some members are part Chuukese and others are part Kosraen.  The team opted to compete under both the Pohnpei and FSM flags.

Team Pohnpei/FSM made history while in Palau.  The swimmers took home a gold medal for their efforts in the first event of the competition, the 400 meter Free Relay.  Not only was it the first gold medal won in the first ever Micronesian Swimming Championships, it was also the first time a team from the FSM has medaled in a relay in an international competition.

Team Pohnpei/FSM took third place in the gold medal race with a total of eight gold medals.  The swimmers also brought home 10 silver and seven bronze medals.  They also set six new FSM National Records.

Medal winners are as follows:

Team Pohnpei/FSM - Mixed 400 Meter Freestyle Relay - Gold

Nicole Adams - Women’s 100 Meter Individual Medley - Silver

Jourdyn Adams - Womens 50 Meter Backstroke - Silver

Taeyanna Adams - Womens 100 Meter Breaststroke - Gold

Nicole Adams - Womens 100 Meter Breaststroke - Silver

Jessie Adams - Girls 100 Meter Freestyle - Bronze

Jourdyn Adams - Women 100 Meter Freestyle - Gold

Team Pohnpei/FSM - Mixed 200 Meter Medley Relay - Bronze

Team Pohnpei/FSM - Mixed 400 Meter Medley Relay - Gold

Tayeanna Adams - Women’s 50 Meter Breaststroke - Gold

Nicole Adams - Women’s 50 Meter Breaststroke - Silver

Noah Adams - Men’s 50 Meter Breaststroke - Silver

Kyler Kihleng - Men’s 200 Meter Backstroke- Silver

Kestra Kihleng - Women’s 100 Meter Butterfly - Gold

Kaleo Kihleng - Men’s 100 Meter Butterfly - Silver

Jourdyn Adams - Women’s 200 Meter Freestyle - Bronze

Mixed 200 Meter Freestyle Relay - Silver

Kestra Kihleng - Women’s 50 Meter Butterfly - Silver

Jourdyn Adams - Womens 50 Meter Butterfly - Bronze

Kaleo Kihleng - Mens 50 Meter Butterfly - Bronze

Taeyanna Adams - Women’s 200 Meter Breaststroke - Gold

Kestra Kihleng - Women’s 200 Meter Individual Medley - Silver

Nicole Adams - Women’s 200 Meter Individual Medley - Bronze

Taeyanna Adams - Women’s 50 Meter Freestyle - Gold

Jourdyn Adams - Women’s 50 Meter Freestyle – Bronze

Several representatives from FINA and Oceania Swimming participated in the running of the four day competition.  They also ran outstanding clinics throughout the week, including an athlete’s clinic by four-time Olympian and Olympic finalist Ryan Pini. There was a Coaches’ Clinic by FINA coach John Bladon, as well as Officials’ Clinic by FINA official Lesley Huckins.  Bill Sakovich of the Oceania Swimming Association, known as the Father of Swimming in the Pacific was also there to oversee the meet and work with both swimmers and coaches alike.

Coach Billy Brown of Palau and the Palau Swimming Association truly outdid themselves in hosting this amazing competition and certainly set the bar high for the islands that will be hosting this annual event in the future.

The next Micronesian Swimming Championships is scheduled to be held in Guam, with Pohnpei hosting the competition in 2021. All the swimmers have agreed this was one of the best swim competitions they have ever been a part of and are all looking forward to next year.

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Pohnpei Fishing club concludes another exciting tournament

Pohnpei Fishing Club


April 6, 2019

PFC1Pohnpei—Ocean View West Wing, Best Buy, One World Plaza with support from Senator David Panuelo, and RAIN sponsored a fishing tournament in Pohnpei on Saturday April 6.  RAIN also participated by providing each boat with a case of locally bottled water.  18 boats braved the rainy weather to participate in the tournament.

Though for the most part, the fish that were caught weren’t particularly large, anglers landed several good catches in all categories.  Lara Trott won the grand prize of $600 for her catch of a 43.4 pound dog tooth tuna.  Trott also won the second place prize of $500 for a dog tooth tuna only 3 tenths of pound less than her grand prize winning fish.

The top three winners for point fish were lady anglers. Four lady anglers nabbed additional prizes in their category.

Most of the prizes were cash prizes though there were also some nice gift certificates provided by the sponsors as well.  The Lady Angler winners received a free night at Ocean View in addition to cash prizes for their catches.  The top two also received dinner.  The three top Junior Anglers won gift certificates for pizza along with their cash prizes.

The Pohnpei Fishing club couldn’t have tournaments without its sponsors.  Thank you to the sponsors for providing $4,000 in cash and prizes.

The next Pohnpei Fishing Club tournament will be the World Tuna Day tournament on April 27.

Prize winners for the April 6 tournament follow:



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Team FSM to compete in 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Turkmenistan

turkmenistanBy Jim Tobin
FSM National Olympic Committee
The Federated States of Micronesia will now be sending 11 athletes to Ashgabat, Turkmenistan to compete in the2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games. The FSM will be competing in Wrestling, Swimming and Athletics (Track and Field). Ashgabat 2017 games are from September 17-27, 2017.
The FSM sports delegation, attending the Ashgabat 2017, will include 5 wrestlers (Dukay Tairuwepiy, Richard Nakasone, Thomas Wichlibuch Jr, Myron Damian and Ryan Ifamilik), 4 swimmers (Dionisio Augustine II, Kaleo Kihleng, Jourdyn Adams and Taeyanna Adams) and 2 runners/sprinters (Estanis Ikelap Jr and Alvin Martin). The coaches are Larry Uwelar (Wrestling) Sweeter Daniel (Swimming) and Rendy Germinaro (Athletics). The FSM Chef de Mission is Ted Rutun. Welbert (Donnie) Samuel will be an administrative staff. The FSM delegation will be led by Berney Martin. Jim Tobin, FSMNOC Secretary General will not attend but will be traveling to Yap to assist with the planning and organization of the 2018 Micronesian Games.
Over 2,000 athletes from all over the Asia and Oceania regions will participate in 21 sports in the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games. The majority of TEAM FSM will depart the Pohnpei on September 11 and arrive in Turkmenistan in September 13. The Opening Ceremony will be held at 7:00pm, September 17. Dionisio Augustine II will be the FSM flag bearer. TEAM FSM will return on October 02.
This will be the first Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games that the FSM has participated in. The FSM National Olympic Committee has been a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since 1998. The IOC had recommended that the small Pacific countries, like the FSM, that participate in the Olympic Games, compete in more regional competitions to try to improve the results of the FSM Olympic athletes.
The FSMNOC received funding support from Asia National Olympic Committees, Turkmenistan National Olympic Committee and International Olympic Committee grants for the costs of economy airfares, Ashgabat accommodation, uniforms, insurance and travel stipends for all TEAM FSM members.

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Boxing World Champion Coach Andrea Galbiati from Italy has returned to train FSM Boxing Team

By FSM Boxing Association

BoxingOne year later, FSM Boxing World Champion Coach Andrea Galbiati from Italy has returned to Pohnpei to help train hopefuls for the FSM Boxing National Team to compete at this year's Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa come July 2019.  Galbiati has returned for one month and together with head Coach Erick Divinagracia have been training these hopefuls, which includes Mavrick Manalastas and returning 2015 Pacific Game team member, Derick Perman.  Such boxing training consists of a grueling 5 days a week 4 hours a day schedule, which is broken down into two workouts that start from 10AM - 12PM and another two hours in the evening from 6:30PM - 8:30PM and Saturdays as well.  "Training with Coach Andrea is hard, but its good work it's worth it I can see improvement in my technique, my speed, and my footwork is on another level. There is nothing that he does not explain and to have a Coach of his caliber critiquing us on every little thing we do improves our skills" said Perman.  

Galbiati has been involved with FSM Boxing since 2013 when he first met Yapese boxer, Jennifer Chieng in New York City where their training began together and he helped corner her for over fifteen fights on four different continents.  At the 2015 Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea, Jennifer and three other team members represented the first ever FSM National Boxing team, where she won the gold medal which lead to her to participating in an epic match at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janiero.   

Galbiati’s involvement in the FSM is also not just limited to training Micronesian boxers, but also helping the local community and promoting the FSM whenever he can.  Last year, he provided basic self-defense training to the Kolonia Town Police and this year he was able to speak to students at the College of Micronesia and tell his story and the requirements of a professional athlete.  In his free time, Galbiati is constantly promoting the FSM on his social media pages and in interviews with the Italian media to help foster tourism between the two countries.  

In light of the Pacific Games in July, Coach Galbiati and Coach Divinagracia are hoping to narrow down the best boxer(s) in Pohnpei by June and then send them to live and train at Galbiati's gym in Brooklyn for at least a one month where these boxer(s) will be exposed to even more intense training under Coach Galbiati and the renowned New York boxing scene.  However, there are no guarantees.  Should the hopefuls not meet certain weight requirements by a certain date or their skill level is not up to par with the coaches’ expectations, then the boxers will not compete at the Pacific Games and instead will focus on more training and competing at smaller events to help build their experience.  “Our boxers health is our number one priority.  Boxing is not a sport that you play and is very dangerous. At the Pacific Games, there are highly skilled veteran boxers that have competed their whole life from the time they were youths to adults and some have competed at the World Championships and the Olympics. These guys are still young and have plenty of time to train and improve their skills and we are not going to risk their health if they can’t meet our expectations” said Divinagracia.

These activities would not have been possible without the support from the National Government, which includes receiving certain funds from the FSM Congress, support from the FSM Olympic Committee, long standing local business supporters such as Caroline Fisheries Corporation and Dongwon Fisheries who donated the boxing ring as well as donations from families and friends and support from the general public.  However, the program still needs your continued support to keep the sport of boxing thriving in the FSM to hopefully produce the next FSM Olympian boxer or World Champion! You can show your support by stopping by the gym across from the Christian Calvary Academy where boxing classes are every Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings or by visiting their Facebook page at "FSM Boxing Association."

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FSM Wrestling Team participates in 2017 Oceania Wrestling Championship

Yap Sports Council // March 17, 2017
ABAY, Yap — On March 10 – 12, 2017, an FSM Wrestling Team participated in the 2017 Cadet, Junior, and Senior Oceania Wrestling Championship held in Tahiti, French Polynesia. The team consisted of Wrestling Coach Lawrence Uwelur, Yapese athletes Paul Gibay and Thomas Wichilbuch Jr., Chuukese athletes JK Kaminanga and Joshua Aizawa, and NF Official Clark Graham.
From the turnout, both Paul Gibay and Thomas Wichilbuch Jr. have earned medals. Paul Gibay, who competed in the 60kg junior category, won a silver medal in the Greco-Roman Style and a bronze medal in the Free Style.
Thomas Wichilbuch Jr., who was in the 70kg senior category, brought in a silver medal in the Free Style and a Gold medal in the Greco-Roman style.
“Congratulations to all members of the FSM Team and many appreciation for representing your state and country!”

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Anglers brave blustery weather for WCPFC and CFC fishing tournament in Pohnpei

Pohnpei Fishing Club


March 9, 2019

WescottPohnpei—16 boats and their anglers registered for the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and Caroline Fishing Corporation (CFC) fishing tournament.  It was a blustery day that turned fine until it was time for the 4:00 weigh-in when a squall blew in.  Despite the conditions, all of the boats made it back in.

Though schools weren’t out in force during the tournament anglers still managed to catch fish, the biggest of which was Rodney Phillip’s 109 pound marlin.  That fish won him a $500 cash prize for biggest fish.

The heart breaker of the tournament was Dane Nighswander’s 49 pound sailfish which was one pound short of the weight required for a qualifying sailfish.

Cash prizes provided by the WCPFC and CFC for top anglers are as follows:

Big Fish

                $500 - Rodney Philip for a 109 pound marlin

                $400 - Bernolina Hedson for a 29 pound Grand Trevally

                $300 - Konrad Englberger for a 21 pound Wahoo

                $200 - Chuck Handy for a 20 pound Wahoo

                $150 - Wilmar Acquino for a 19 pound Wahoo


Tiare Eastmond won $100 as the top lady angler for her 18 pound Wahoo.

Heziel Edward pocketed $100 as the top junior angler for his eight pound skipjack

Cash prizes of $100 and $50 respectively were also awarded for the biggest fish in species though in the case of Yellow Fin or other tuna the first prize went to Jimmy Obispo for his nine pound yellow fin.  The second prize was split between Welber David for his 6.5 pound yellow fin, and Dane Nighswander for his 6.5 Dogtooth tuna.

First prize for Mahi Mahi went to Junior Spence for his fish of 16.5 pounds.  Second prize was awarded to Westcott Panuelo for his 15.5 pound fish.

Nathan Glancy won the top prize in the Wahoo category for an 18 pound fish.  He was followed by John Alefaio with a 16 pound Wahoo.

Tiare Eastmond won $100 for her catch of an 11.5 pound Barricuda.  The $50 prize went to Konrad Englberger for his 10.5 pound catch.

Welber David caught a monstrous 17.5 Skip Jack and also a big 12.5 pound Skip Jack.  His catches earned him both first and second prizes.

The club and its members thank WCPFC and CFC for their continuing generosity in sponsoring the club’s activities and particularly for this first tournament of 2019.

Thanks also go to the volunteers who help make the tournaments happen.

The next Pohnpei Fishing Club tournament will be on April 6, sponsored by Ocean View West Wing and Best Buy.  The World Tuna Day tournament, sponsored by the National Fisheries Corporation, Taiyo, and Kasar will be on April 27.

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British coach in Pohnpei helping to reignite a passion for soccer


Bill Jaynes - The Kaselehlie Press
April 20, 2017
Pohnpei—Football (Soccer) coach Chris Smith is from Nottingham, England, the land of the character of medieval folklore, “Robin Hood”, who supposedly stole from the rich and gave to the poor. But Smith is neither an archer nor a swordsman. He doesn’t have a band of “Merry Men” but he does hope to foster a band of soccer players in Pohnpei. He is on his own, using his own money and the money of interested donors in order to continue the work of those who have gone before him to rekindle a love of soccer in Pohnpei, and to help provide a route for the sport to be followed for those who are interested in doing so.
He arrived in the wee hours of Monday morning, April 17, not having any clue what time it was or what day it was after having spent three and a half days traveling from the other side of the world. A few hours later, he was at the PICS field, face to face with 25 eager young soccer players.
“If there were a bunch of guys with this determination in England, they’d be going places,” he said. “First thing I noticed was, they are not pulling out of tackles. Yeah, the commitment can’t be questioned. I’m scared to play with those guys as someone who is managing an injury.” It was an ACL injury and several surgeries that took him out of game play. After several years of recovery and no injuries, just three weeks before he came to Pohnpei, he injured his knee again.
“But as far as these guys, they’re not scared of that. Half of them are in bare feet and half of them are in boots, but it doesn’t matter,” he said. “But it’s that commitment though. They have no boots and the pitch is ‘that’ deep in water, they still do it. They still come out.”

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