12th Belau National Games
XVI Pacific Games
World Summer Olympic Games
July 24th - August 9th 2020
On December 11, 2016, Palau wrestler Blesam Tarkong competed in the 2016 World Senior Championships – Non Olympic Categories in Budapest, Hungary. Blesam competed in the mens freestyle senior competition for the 70kg weight division. Blesam wrestled against Michal Radnoti of Slovakia. During the first period of the match Radnoti was the first to score on a takedown for 4 points. Blesam came back scoring 2 points on a headlock roll, but Radnoti countered for 2 points going behind Blesam before going out of bounds. Blesam then shot in for a single leg takedown earning 2 points and did a gut wrench to roll his opponent to his back earning 2 points. The score was tied 6-6 within the first minute of the match. Radnoti then came back with a takedown earning 4 points on Blesam. Blesam escaped and came behind his opponent to earn 1 point with the score being 10-7. Blesam then rolled his opponent to his back earning 2 points but his opponent countered and scored 1 point. The score was now at 12-9 within 2:33 seconds in the first period of the match. During the 2nd period of the match Blesam shot in for a single leg takedown against his opponent and going out of bounds, but his opponent received 4 points after Blesam landed on his back. The score was 16-9 in favor of Radnoti. From the standing position, Blesam shot in for a takedown but Radnoti was able to counter and score 2 points that was somewhat, but after further review by the officials, points were awarded to his opponent for a final score and win at 19-9.
Overall, Blesam did well ranking 16 out of 28 wrestlers. Russia went on to win the gold medal, Kazakstan silver and both Krygyzstan and Iran placing won the bronze medal. According to Blesam, this was a good match up and tournament for Blesam after months of training in Iran with their national team. Blesam still needs some fine tuning but with top coaches in Iran and good training partners, he was able to perform exceptionally well during this match. Blesam returned back to Iran where he will continue to improve on his training till February 2018, then compete in the 2017 Oceania Championships in Tahiti. Last month both Skilang Temengil and Blesam competed in the Golden Grand Prix tournament in Azerbaijan. While it was a very tough and high level tournament in which only the best ranked athletes in the continents competed, both athletes did their very best but lost to their opponents.