Tkatchenko lass makes a big splash in Gold Coast

Normal, Sports

ELITE junior swimmer Savannah Tkatchenko stamped her mark in the swimming pool when she won gold in the U9 girls 50m breaststroke at the 2009 Pro-Ma Miami Spring Meet in Gold Coast, Australia, last month.
The young lass stopped the clock at 45.59sec, breaking the existing seven-year-old Pro-Ma Miami Spring Meet age group record.
The previous record was 47.65sec set by Australian swimmer Elyse Morrison set in 2002.
Tkatchenko’s latest feat is also personal best time in the nine-year-old age group. 
The record for the PNG nine-year-old girls age group in the event is held by Barbara Leana-Vali, which is 44.64sec set in 2006.
Leana-Vali swam for her club in Brisbane (Acacia Bayside) at the same competition in the 13 years age group and won a silver medal in the 100m breaststroke in 1:25.04.
The spring meet on Sept 26, which attracted top junior swimmers from all over Queensland, was followed by an Australia swim camp last week.
Savannah’s mother Katherine, who accompanied her daughter to the championship, was over the moon.
“Queensland is home to many top Australian swimmers and setting a record in her age group at this level of competition and to win is an achievement,” the proud mother said.
PNG Swimming Union official Barbara Skelton confirmed that Savannah had won the gold medal in her age division and conveyed the PNG Swimming Union’s congratulations to Savannah and all those who competed and swam their personal best times.
PNG Swimming Inc president Elizabeth Wells also thanked all parents who supported their children to the competition.
Other PNG swimmers were Samantha’s brother Jake, Grace Taga, James Runnergar, Ben Paton, Anthea Murray, Millie Knight and Ayla Beagrie.
Skelton, who accompanied the junior swimmers, said all PNG swimmers did well with some recording astonishing personal best times.
Following the meeting on the Gold Coast, the swimmers attended the Australia Swim Camp at Toowoomba.
Three swimmers at the camp received certificate of recognition as “most improved and outstanding swimmer awards”.Anthea Murray won the top senior girl’s award, Alastair Blake picked up the top junior boy’s award and Ayla Beagrie snared the top junior girl’s award.
The top senior boy’s award went to a Queensland swimmer. 
Skelton said Anthea had only spent two weeks in Australia on a swimming scholarship, training with top Queenland coaches, who had been very impressed with her skills and commitment to the sport. 
“Anthea, along with coach Villiwa Puana, who was also on a coaching scholarship, had performed really well and done her country, Papua New Guinea proud,” Skelton said.