Pow­er­lift­ing, cen­ter stage

West Hawaii Today - - Local News - BY CHELSEA JENSEN cjensen@west­hawai­ito­day.com

KAILUA-KONA — Pow­er­lift­ing took cen­ter stage Satur­day at Imua Iron as Spe­cial Olympics West Hawaii ath­letes showed off their strength ahead of State Sum­mer Games in May on Oahu.

Sev­eral dozen peo­ple came out to sup­port the ath­letes in their an­nual Full Power Pow­er­lift­ing Meet as they pumped iron via three rounds of squats, bench presses and dead­lifts.

The seven ath­letes present for Satur­day’s event, Yuu Taka­hashi, Nan­cyn Honma, Kalei Lee, Dara Sabri, Shawn Le­hano, Quentin Wong and Isa­iah Wong, have all qual­i­fied for the sum­mer games next month on Oahu.

The meet was Taka­hashi’s first since join­ing the Kona Krush­ers pow­er­lift­ing team last year af­ter mov­ing with his fam­ily to Hawaii Is­land from Ja­pan. He took part in all three events, bench press of­fi­cially and dead­lift and squat as ex­hi­bi­tion, suc­cess­fully com­plet­ing each with a big smile on his face.

“I’m so proud of him,” said his father Wataru Taka­hashi af­ter his son com­pleted a 60-pound dead­lift gar­ner­ing cheers from fam­ily mem­bers, friends, fel­low team mem­bers, vol­un­teers and oth­ers.

Putting on the meet was a com­mu­nity ef­fort, said SOWH area di­rec­tor Sharon Yong, thank­ing the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s vol­un­teers, po­lice, sup­port­ers and Imua Iron for their sup­port. The team also trains at the fa­cil­ity along­side Imua Iron mem­bers.

“This is very awe­some, it re­ally re­ally is,” Yong said. “We could never do it alone we need all these peo­ple.”

And that sen­ti­ment goes both ways.

“It’s su­per in­spir­ing,” said Imua Iron owner Dar­ren Elis­aga. “They al­ways thank me and think I’m do­ing them a fa­vor, but they have no idea how much more they do for us than we do for them.”

CHELSEA JENSEN/ PHOTOS BY

Yuu Taka­hashi and Wataru Taka­hashi pose for a photo af­ter a suc­cess­ful meet.

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