The 2023 Oceania Championships was held on 8-9 August 2023 at the Australia Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra, Australia. There were eleven (11) countries that took part in this event to include American Samoa, Australia, FSM, Guam, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Palau, French Polynesia, Samoa and Tonga. Palau sent a total of 10 athletes to compete. Representing Palau was Omarael Ngirmang, J-Boy Masters, Daigo Taima, Uilau Tarkong, Uiliperefoti Cooper, Nicole Fernandez, Tianna Fernandez, Cristian Etpison Nicolescu, Guy Delumeau Jr. and Florian Skilang Temengil. Overall, Palau won a total for 14 medals to include 5 gold medals, 7 silver and 4 bronze medals
On day 1 of the Greco Roman and Womens Freestyle Wrestling.
Under 17 Age Category:
Unfortunately, there was no athlete in Nicole’s 43kg womens weight division so she was not able to compete.
Omerael Ngirmangmang won the silver medal in the Under 17 years old-55kg Greco Roman Style. Omerail lost the match to Daroa Olsson of Nauru.
Uiliperefoti Cooper won Gold while Daigo Taimao Taima won the silver in Under 17 Age category – Greco Roman.
On day 2 of the 110 kg freestyle weight division Uiliperefoti Cooper of Palau won the bronze medal match after losing to both New Zealand and Australia. Daniel Lipshaw (NZL) won gold after defeating Miles Daly (AUS). Daigo Taima placed 4th.
In the Under 17 -80kg freestyle weight division, J-Boy Kwartei Masters of Palau won the bronze medal, Australia Baahes Didar (Gold) and Sebastian Hopkins of New Zealand won the silver medal.
In the Under 17 – 55kg freestyle weight division, Jaeden Brown (NZL) won gold after defeating his opponent from Nauru. Nauru won silver and Omerael Ngirmang won the bronze.
Under 20 Age Category
Uilau Tarkong won the gold medal in the Under 20 years- freestyle womens -72kg weight division against Annie Aloisio of American Samoa. While Annie was able to score first, Uilau came back during the 1st period to lead 10-8. During the 2nd period Uilau controlled the match and was able to win the match.
Uiliperefoti Cooper won another gold medal in the U20 Greco Roman 130kg and Daigo Taima wins silver medal; J-Boy Kwartei Masters placed 4th in the 77kg Greco Roman Under 20 years age weight division.
On day 2 of the Under 20 – freestyle 125kg, Uiliperefoti of Palau won the gold medal match against Daigo Taima also of Palau who the won silver medal.
Senior Mens Greco Roman
Cristian Etpison Nicolescu was able to defeat his first opponent Alan Lathan (NZL) with a score of 4-1. In one of the best and toughest matches of the day and in the finals against Australia’s Ando Lehtmets, Cristian was able fight his way to regain the lead and score during the last 30 seconds of the match but at the buzzer Ando scored and won the match with a major upset. Ando won Gold, Cristian Silver and Lathan bronze.
In the Greco Roman 65kg senior mens division, Guy DeLumeau wrestled Ahmad Ahmadi (AUS) and won the match 8-0. Ahmadi went on to beat Daiziel Detudamo (Nauru) by scoring the last point 8-8 for an upset win over Nauru. Guy went on to wrestle Taylor Pickering but lost. Pickering went on to defeat Nauru and Picketing of Australia went on to win the Gold medal. Guy won silver medal and Daiziel of Nauru won the bronze.
Senior Womens Freestyle Competition
Tianna Fernandez won the Gold medal match in the 50kg senior womens category against Juliana Velez of Australia who placed 2nd and Guam wrestler Paulina Duenas – 3rd place In the finals against Australia, this was a very tight match as Tianna was first to score in the match and another point. Australia later scored 4 points on a throw and another 2 points to take the lead 6-2. In the 2nd period of the match, Tianna was able to fight off her opponent, score 2 points within the 1st minute of the match, another 2 points with 30 seconds and another 2 points before taking her opponent to her back and winning the match. Tianna also defeated Guam wrestler Paulina Duenas with a score of 10-0 during the match.
Uilau Tarkong competed in the Womens Senior 72kg weight division against Taylor Ford of New Zealand but lost during the 1st period of the match. Taylor defeated Annie Alosio of American Samoa. Taylor won the gold medal; Uilau silver and Annie bronze medal.
Senior Mens Freestyle Wrestling Competition held on August 09, 2023
On Day 2 of the freestyle mens senior competitions, Florian Skilang Temengil dropped his weight from the 125kg heavy weight division to the 97kg weight class to compete, but Temengil lost both of his matches. The Gold medalist from Australia, Thomas Barns went on to defeat Maulalo Willie Alofipo of Samoa who won the silver medal after defeating Tonga in the semi-finals. There were six wrestlers in this weight class.
In the freestyle – senior mens -74kg Guy Delumeau Jr. of Palau won the bronze medal. This was a tough bracket as Guy was able to defeat Lowe Bingham of Nauru and Taavi Porter of NZL but lost to Australia Artemios Trepca of Australia. Trepca went on to defeat Ethan Thomas of Australia who won the silver medal.
In one of the toughest weight classes, freestyle senior mens – 65kg division, Crisitan Nicolescu placed 4th after battling close and tough matches. Australia’s Georgii Okorokovv won the gold while Ethan Aguigui of Guam won silver, Liam Gusti of Australia won the bronze. There were 5 opponents in this weight class.
UWW and Oceania Wrestling Training Camp held in Canberra, Australia
This camp was held from July 30, 2023 to August 06, 2023 at the Australia Institute of Sport. The camp was held one week prior to the competition from July 30 – August 07, 2023. The camp was conducted by top UWW instructors. Overall, there were a total of 34 athletes from Oceania, 14 coaches and 7 referees that took part in the camp. Palau had 7 coaches (to include former athletes) that completed the level 1 and level 2 coaching course. At the same time, Palau added another international referee’s, Skarlee Renguul, to the list of international referees that included Christopher Kitalong. The coaches and referees were able to make use of their skills that were learned over the course of the week on their athletes during the camp and during the competition. The level 1 and 2 coaching course included John Tarkong Jr., Franson Gibbons, Skilang Temengil, Marlene Fernandez, Cristian Etpison Nicolescu. Skarlee Renguul completed the level 1 coaching course and the referee level 1 course.
On behalf of our wrestling team, we would like to thank UWW for hosting the course, Palau NOC, WCTC – our corporate sponsor, and other sponsors, families and friends for making this happen.