PNG records fall


FOURTEEN new Papua New Guinea swimming records were set at the recent Fina World Swimming Championships in Canada.
PNG Swimming secretary Carly Pini said the tournament was from Dec 6-11 in Windsor, Canada, attracted the world’s best swimmers from 175 countries.
PNG, including Pacific Games star and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Ryan Pini, 34, was well represented by the following swimmers and officials: Livingston Aika (19), Stanford Kawale (21), Ryan Maskelyne (17), Shanice Paraka (17), Ashley Seeto (28) Sam Seghers (22), coach Greg Fasala, manager Sarenah Pini and physio Matthew Natusch.
Pini said Day 1 of competition saw Ryan Pini and Aika compete in the 100m backstroke, with Livingston swimming a personal best time (PB).
Seeto and Maskelyne competed in the 100m breaststroke, both swimming PBs and taking age 17 ySeeto) records.
Paraka competed in the 100m backstroke and Stanford Kawale in the 200m individual medley.
The men’s 4x100m freestyle relay was swum by Seghers, Kawale, Aika and Pini, who smashed the previous record set in 2014 by nine seconds.
Day 3 was another impressive day of swimming for Team PNG with Maskelyne and Seeto both competing in the first event for the day,  the 100m individual medley.
Both obtained personal best times, with Maskelyne taking the 17-years age group record.
Next was Pini and Aika in the 50m backstroke, with Pini swimming a seasonal best and just shy off his personal best.
Continuing with the good swims, Seghers and Kawale competed in the 50m freestyle and both clocked seasonal bests.
Maskelyne competed in his second event for the day the 200m breaststroke and hit a new PB and 17-years age group and open record.
Day 5 saw more PNG records tumble. The 4 x 50m medley team of Pini (back), Seeto (breast), Kawale (fly) and Seghers (free) kicked off the session with an open PNG record in a time of 1:43.99, taking five seconds off the previous time set in 2014.
Next up, Seghers and Kawale swam the 100m free and Paraka the 50m free, all posting solid times.
The competition among the PNG team heated up, with Maskelyne and Seeto both competing in the 50m breaststroke in the same heat.
Hoping to break the 30-second mark, they both achieved this as well as setting new PBs and records.
Maskelyne swam a 29.85 seconds to better his own 17-year-age group national record, while Seeto smashed her previous PB in a time of 29.18 to take the new open national record.
Pini said with all individual events completed, Day 6 saw the 4 x 100m medley relay team take to the stage for the last day of swimming.
The team of Aika (back), Maskelyne (breast stroke), Pini (butterfly) and Kawale (free style) finished the competition on a high note by taking another record, 12 seconds faster than the previous record set in 2014.
The experience of competing at this level of competition and for some, experiencing snow for the very first time, will be a competition remembered for years to come.
Carly Pini said thanked major sponsor Bank South Pacific for their continued support.