SWIMMING records were broken last weekend at the 2009 Theodist National Championship at the Ela Murray International School’s 25m pool in Port Moresby.
The event that started last Friday and ended on Sunday, saw 42 new Papua New Guinea records set over four sessions in the age, open and masters’ category.
One hundred and 17 competitors from the only two existing swimming clubs in the country, Lae and Boroko, registered 653 individual entries in 63 events and 49 relays.
The highest number of records tumbled with many heartening moments transpiring as our young swimmers in a very competitive atmosphere, set exceptionally good times.
In the 100m individual medley event, eight age category records were set.
Notable in the event was female swimmer 13- year-old Barbara Leana-Vali swimming a time of 1:16.78 to break the previous record by Carmen Kolta, 1:20.93, set in 2005.
In the senior event 21-one-year-old Anna-Liza Mopio-Jane swam a senior record of 1:10.16 upsetting Krystle Babao’s 1:14.94 set in 2007.
Mopio-Jane also broke the open division record set by Judith Meauri earlier this year.
In the male category of the 100m medley 15- year-old Peter Pokawin set a new record time of 1:05.35 in his age division, breaking his own time of 1:07.01.
Nathan Ampa’oi registered a time of 1:07.74, to break the previous record time of 1:08.03 set by Danny Pryke in the 16-year-old division.
Nathan Nades in the 17-year-old division swam 1:08.20 erasing Ian Nakmai’s record of 1:09.57 and while in the open division, Ryan Pini clocked 58.06 to erase his own record of 1:02.58 set in 2006 and the masters (25-9 category) record of 1:05.11.
In the 50m backstroke event, four records were smashed.
Mopio-Jane swam a senior record of 32.45 surpassing her previous record of 33.38 set last year.
She also claimed the open record in the same event.
In the male event Pokawin erased Pini’s 12-year-old record time of 29.88 set in 1997 clocking a time of 29.69.
Pini also swam a record time in the master’s division (25-29) swimming a time of 27.15 breaking his own record of 29.88 set last year.
Twelve-year-old Angie Mopio-Jane secured an allcomers record in the female 200m breaststroke for her age category stopping the clock at 2:58.81 breaking Xenia Peni’s record of 2:58.83 set in 1995.
Leana-Vali swam also into the PNG record book in the 13-year-age group of the 200m event, swimming 3:00.22 breaking Nicole Comerford’s record of 3:00.29 set in 1994.
In the 100m butterfly male events, Pokawin broke Shannon Liew’s record of 1:03.09 set in 1994 clocking a time of 1:02.37.
In the same event, Pini again broke his own record in the open and masters (25-29) category swimming a time of 57.91.
In the male 100m breaststroke Ampa’oi set a new record swimming 1:10.90, taking Ben Wells record of 1:11.95 set in 1999 and Nakmai took his age groups division breaking Ampa’oi 1:11.83 time swimming 1:09.94.
Records continued to tumble in the 50m freestyle events with 16-year-old Danny Pryke clocking 25.33, taking Andrew Vele’s record of 26.09 set in 1991; Pokawin swam 25.41 taking Shannon Liew’s record of 25.50 set in 1994; 11-year-old Riley Albrecht swam 30.10 breaking Daven Pat’s record of 30:43 set in 1995; while Pini took the masters record in the 25-29 age group and the open record swimming a time of 23.63.
In the masters category (45-49) Rhys Thomson set a new 50m freestyle record swimming 34.72.
In the 100m backstroke Pini set a new masters record in the 25-29 age group swimming 59.49.
In the last session of the competition another 11 records were set – seven in the 100m freestyle events and four in the 50 butterfly events.
Again Mopio-Jane and Pini led the way followed by rising stars Meauri, Pokawin and Pryke in their various divisions.
In the relays two male records were set.
The first was in the 4 x 200 male open freestyle with Pokawin, Ampa’oi, Jenixon Lim and Pini, recording a time of 8:35.38.
The previous record which stood for 23 years was set by David McInnes, Rohan Watt, Ian Kala and Peter Kunda in the time of 9:06.16 set in 1986.
The second relay record was set in male open 4 x 100m freestyle with again Lim, Pokawin and Pini joined by Nades swam a collated time of 3:49.97 breaking the previous time of 3:58.44 set last year by Arthur Maikin, Pokawin, Lim and Pini.
The PNG aquatic excellence squads for the next 12 months were also named.
Forty-seven swimmers have been chosen in the various training squads.