Eight picked for train-on swim squad


RYAN Maskelyne and Josh Tarere are among eight swimmers who have been named in the national train-on squad for next year’s Pacific Games in the Solomon Islands.
The others are Nathaniel Noka, Holly John, Matthew Vali (men), Georgia-Leigh Vele, Jhnayali Tokome-Garap and Rihannah Makail (women).
The squad were selected from last month’s Boroko Amateur Swimming Club-hosted Theodist National Championships at the Taurama Aquatic Centre.
“This prestigious event on the Papua New Guinea Swimming Incorporated calendar brought together our talented and enthusiastic swimmers and volunteers,” federation president Liz Wells said.
There were some excellent performances from the 59 swimmers who competed in their individual events with national records set.
The records were set by:

  • Female swimmer Georgia-Leigh Vele set a new senior and open record of 30 seconds in the 50m butterfly. Tegan McCarthy set the previous record of 30.05s in 2015; and,
  • Male swimmer Ryan Maskelyne set a new senior record of 1:06.49 in the 100m breaststroke. He beat his previous record of 1:06.56 (2017). Maskelyne also set a new senior record of 2:22.40 in the 200m breaststroke. He beat his previous record of 2:27.26 (2017).
    As swimmers raced towards swimming personal best times, they also raced towards a time to place them in the Bank South Pacific Financial Limited Group-backed national aquatic excellence squads.
    Seventeen swimmers were named in the squads. They are:
  • Junior Silver – Alan Baker, Teesh Bonei, Achilleas Constantinou, Joshua Geoghegan, Madison Kahn, Aria Pidik (development);
  •  Intermediate Silver – Georgina Constantinou, Lillian Thompson (development);
  • Intermediate Gold – Sena Maeda, Rihannah Makail, Iona Shanker (development);
  • Bronze Target – Holly John, Jhnayali Tokome- Garap;
  • Silver Target – Nathaniel Noka;
  • Gold Target – Josh Tarere, Georgia-Leigh Vele; and,
  • Platinum Target – Ryan Maskelyne.
    Wells said swimmers could be named in the train-on squad prior to the final team being selected next year under the eligibility and selection guidelines of the federation and PNG Olympic Committee.
    “The championships, which were run held under the Fina competition rules, provided an opportunity for our technical officials to dust off the cobwebs and step back onto pool deck to officiate a national competition under the direction and guidance of PNG referees Sue Babao and Sarenah Pini, and Fina starter Albert Vigil,” she said.
    Federation vice-president Natalie Pidik said: “Swimmers came to the Theodist National Championships ready to compete and win.
    “After two-and-a-half years of the Coronavirus effecting every opportunity, this competition ignited a fire in our swimmers, which is not only inspiring, but exciting to watch.”

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