Pini poised for action

Main Stories, Sports

The National, Thursday 02nd August, 2012

PAPUA New Guinea’s champion swimmer Ryan Pini is looking forward to finally getting into the pool for the 100m butterfly  heats tomorrow morning (PNG time).
Pini, in a telephone interview after a training session yesterday, said he was feeling strong and relaxed heading into the event that  will see 43 swimmers race in six heats.
“I’m looking forward to it (swimming) and I feel really good,” the 30-year-old said.
“I’ve had a great preparation over the last three months and I’ve only got one event so it’s going to be interesting.”
Pini said he was aiming to break his personal best of 51.6 seconds in the 100 fly which he set at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
“I swam a personal best of 51.6 seconds in Beijing in the semi-final so obviously I’m hoping to to do better here.”
With the Olympic record at 50.58 and the world record at 49.82 , Pini said getting a time of under 52 seconds was the least he was aiming for and making the semi-final, which would be held on the evening of the same day.
“I think a time of around 51.1 will get me into the semis and maybe beyond that.”
His qualifying time was 52.69, not far off the favourites including American superstar Michael Phelps (50.71), South African Chad le Clos (52.17) and Japan’s Takeshi Matsuda (52.36).
“Making the semi-final is my goal, that would be incredible and then if I made the final that would be a bonus,” Pini, who made the final four years ago in Beijing, said.
Pini, who stands at 1.96m and has been one of the Pacific’s best for nearly a decade, will race in heat 3 in lane 2 in a contest that will feature Joe Bartoch (Canada), Clement Lefert (France), Gyucheol Chang (South Korea), Peter Mankoc (Slovenia), Bence Pulai (Hungary), Dinko Jukic (Austria) and Simao Morgado (Portugal).