The National, Thursday, May 12, 2011
PNG swimming team at the Arafura Games in Darwin splashed home in style to contribute three golds, five silvers and three bronzes.
Two of the golds came from rising star Judith Meauri in the 100m freestyle clocking 10.21.
In the 50m butterfly, she clocked 31.29 while the other gold came from 17-year-old Peter Pokawin, who swam a time of 25.59 in the 50m freestyle. He finished fourth in the 100m freestyle.
The medals came from individual events.
The swimmers also picked up silver in the boy’s 4x100m medley which comprised Pokawin, Ian Nakmai, Jenixon Lim and Danny Prykes.
Two national records were also broken with Pokawin swimming a time of 26.72 to break the age group record in the 50m butterfly. The record of 27.63 set in 2005, was previously held by Ryan Pini.
Nakmai also broke the senior men’s 50m breaststroke record of 31.38. The previous record of 32.20 was held by Nubar Van Kokck set in 1991.
Twenty swimmers were selected in the 10 to 20 year old age category and put on an impressive performance to win medals for PNG.
“The young swimmers enjoyed the opening ceremony and walking out in front of the crowd. They were all positive and excited about their races. It truly gave them what they wanted,” a proud coach Ben Wells said from the Games Village.
Competing against the best teams from Australia, Meauri, who has been named one of the finalists in the junior female athlete of the year category, Meauri beat all odds to bag two golds, one silver and a bronze for PNG.
The bronze was won in the 50m butterfly where she clocked 28.25.
Other swimmers who contributed to the medal haul were Pokawin with one gold, a silver and bronze, Nakmai with two silvers and Danny Pryke snatch a bronze.