Articles: Marshall Islands Sports and Health News

Contributed by YokweOnline on Sep 01, 2008 - 04:39 PM

Marshall Islands Sports and Health News

  • Pohnpei Team Sets New Marlin Record In Majuro [1] - Alex Tretnoff's massive record-breaking 794-pound marlin
  • Marshalls Billfish Club [2] - 16th Annual All-Mic Photos and round-up report
  • The lesser-known great stories of Beijing 2008 [3] - As Asafa Powell won his heat of the 100m, Roman Cress of the Marshall Islands went totally unnoticed.
  • How Some Other Olympic Stories Ended [4] - Anju Jason coolly accepted his fate after losing to the British junior champion
  • Oceania in Beijing Newsletter (Marshall Islands) [5] - Oceania Women in sport luncheon and other news in photos
  • Defeating Diabetes: Lessons From the Marshall Islands [6] - some participants making remarkable recoveries and others slowly regressing.

  • TOURNAMENT: Coordinated by the Marshalls Billfish Club, Saturday saw Majuro Team #1, skippered by Anja Antakbon fishing on MEC Brits Too, bring in an 'All Mike' record fish at 648 pounds. And for 24 hours, Antakabon's team thought they were sitting pretty on a $2,500 prize bag, sponsored by the Marshall Islands Journal and Senator John Silk, for an All Mike record-breaker.Eleven teams took part in the international event, with nine teams flying in from nations around the Pacific region, including Guam, Taiwan, Japan, and American Samoa. Aside from a couple of rain squalls on Saturday morning, the teams enjoyed light winds and sunshine in the waters surrounding Majuro Atoll. Fishing with his wife Mary and son Alex Jr., Tretnoff's 794-pounder earns him not only the record-breaker prize, but also $3,000 for the competition's biggest fish, sponsored by the club, and a free ticket to return for the 17th Annual All Mike.

    STORIES: Roman Cress, Marshall Islands, athletics

    You won't have heard of him, but there are few better examples of an athlete for whom simply taking part is the whole story.Cress is a high-school assistant and part-time runner, whose best ever time - achieved eight years ago - wouldn't put him in the top 70 this year. Yet the fact that Cress's father was in the US Peace Corp in the early 1970s and was posted to the Marshall Islands, in the middle of the Pacific, suddenly opened the door to Beijing. Cress Snr married a local girl, had Roman and 10 months later the family returned to America. As he grew up and learned to run he represented the Marshall Islands while based in the US. But despite his reputable times, administrative politics blocked the Islands' attempts to enter the Olympics. Suddenly this year these were overcome, and with weeks' notice Cress was heading for the 100m heats. Amid the Usain Bolt fanfare, you'll have missed the fact Cress lived down to expectations, finishing 72nd out of 80. But the key fact is, he took part.

    ATHLETE: Another athlete you may remember is Anju Jason, a fast-food chef from Hawaii who represented the Marshall Islands in the tae kwon do competition. He coolly accepted his fate after losing to the British junior champion Aaron Cook, 7-0, in the first round.“It was what I expected,” Jason told the Honolulu Advertiser after his Olympic loss. He noted that Cook was an experienced competitor in a well-funded development program and “I’m a full-time chef at the Panda Express.”

    DIABETES: Imagine children indulging in popsicles and soda or eating ramen noodles with Kool-Aid powder sprinkled on top for breakfast. Picture families dining on white rice, meat, and sweet beverages for lunch and dinner every day. What kind of meat? How about Spam, canned corned beef, chicken, fish, crab, octopus, and variety meats such as turkey tails or pig intestines?Where do people eat this way? While our focus here is the Marshall Islands, similar dietary patterns are emerging in impoverished nations throughout the Pacific and around the world. While the program results have varied during the two years of the study, they are most encouraging. Changes after 12 weeks were more variable, with some participants making remarkable recoveries and others slowly regressing. Those who experienced regression were participants who stopped coming to sessions. Unfortunately, most of these individuals did not resume taking medications. While they generally improved their overall diet and lifestyle, without medications, lab values at 24 weeks were often similar to baseline. In an effort to avoid this outcome, the program was adjusted to increase medical follow-up and education regarding medications.