The hallowed surrounds of Brisbane Broncos Leagues Club saw Australia, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga fight out the Regions Championships. The late change of venue tempered especially Australian participation, but the host nation still came out on top, over New Zealand and Nauru.
In the Women’s lifting, all-time great Liz Craven was jaded after a long, stressful year, but still came through with a quality 420kg at 53kg to take out the Best Lifter title. Big results also came in the higher classes, starting with Isabella Thomson avenging her Nationals misfire with a top ranking 440kg at 72kg, over Megan Reed, really a puffy 64kg ., with 422 ½ kg. The 84kgs saw Jewel Tasi of Samoa just hold off Einasleigh Doughty and Natalie Chu, whilst Brea DeJonge, was in a class of her own with 490kg as a Youth.
The Men’s classes were just as competitive. Bi-Tasman Joshua Tukua was clear in the 77kg class with a quality 700kg, but nearly as impressive was Christophe Ang with 672.5kg securing the Best Junior title. Taggart Duburiya (Nauru) and Matthew McKay (Aust) made short work of the 85kg and 94kg classes, while the 105kg class was a three-way battle. Improving Michael Rand came through with a giant last Deadlift of 330kg to pip Joash Teabuge of Nauru, both on 785kg. Nicolai Cushing’s big Deadlift had deserted him and he was left lamenting in third with 770kg.
In the mega-classes, Tonga’s Stanley Cocker was out on his own with 815kg at 120kg, although an ageing Steve Lousich came through with Master’s records in second. But the big battle of the entire contest was Joe Whittaker versus Tony Reinmuth at 120+kg. Joe was the steadier of the two behemoths, eight successful attempts adding up to 930kg. Tony dropped too fast on 380kg Squat and had his grip go on a winning 330kg Deadlift but still totalled a PB 922 ½ kg and continued his march towards Tyron Senituli’s AR 944kg.
Thus ended the 2018 Championships, to a full house for the final session. Next year the Pacific Games in July will be the focus of the Pacific nations, but the Asia Pacific Championships in Hong Kong will also see the Region’s best lifters out in force.