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Antonette Labausa continues to look forward

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ANTONETTE Labausa is one of the local athletes affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

After completing the four-month training camp in Samoa on April 19, Labausa did manage to put her hard work to the test as she successfully competed at the Australian International Open in Canberra, Australia.

Although she did not win a medal, she was still satisfied with her performance against world-class weightlifters.  

“I was happy with the outcome although I was not close to placing for a medal. It was a different caliber of weightlifters — these guys are world-class lifters, so to be around that energy was amazing and it definitely put a perspective on how much harder I have to work to get to that level.”

As for her performance at the Australian International Open, “I was happy as I was able to put up my best total in the competition,” she said.

Antonette Labausa holds up the 70kg snatch during the Australian International Open in Canberra. Contributed photo

The CNMI weightlifter hit a 74kg snatch and a 95kg clean and jerk for a total of 169kg, increasing by 10kg her previous best. “With that being said, I was just glad to experience representing the Marianas as best as I could that day."

She was also scheduled to compete in the Oceania championships, but it was postponed to a later date.

“I was extremely disappointed; however, I am glad that health and safety are top priorities. Everyone at the [Samoa] training camp worked very hard [for the championships], and of course it was not good news to hear but I think overall, there was a lot more at stake than just a competition. I mean, technically, the whole world is on hold at the moment.”

She added, “So, in light of that, I have had to put my disappointments aside and accept that, you know, sometimes things don’t go according to plan and we just have to accept it and adjust to our current situation.”

Labausa faces yet another challenge: she can’t return home due to the pandemic and is still in Samoa.

Antonette Labausa closes her eyes after successfully lifting 95kg in the clean and jerk during the Australian International Open in Canberra. Contributed photo

But she said she is making the most of her stay with some light training to stay in shape.

“I have been blessed to meet some very kind people along the way to make sure I am safe here while I wait for a chance to board a plane, which has been very difficult because of the current pandemic that we are in.”

Her plan is to stay healthy and work on other areas of her fitness the best she can.

“We definitely poured out a lot of blood, sweat, and tears during this difficult training camp and it is disappointing to know that there is no end product to show for all of that hard work we have done, but at least I can say that I have tried it and I know that I am one tough cookie,” she said.

Eventually, Labausa said she would like to give back to the community through sports.

 “I am realizing that my age is definitely getting up there as an athlete so there will be a time when I will have to change my role from an athlete to a coach in the near future. The main idea about going to this kind of camp is to bring back knowledge and share it. Even though I have sacrificed a lot personally as well as financially, and things did not pan out the way I had imagined them to, I am still grateful for this experience. I have learned a lot.”

Labausa said she “would like to thank everyone who continues to believe in me and who has supported me on this journey, most especially my partner, Jordan Monderen, my family, and my friends, and lastly my sponsors: Saipan Vegas, Latte Built, and Fishing Tackle. Hopefully, I can return home very soon.”

 

 

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