Pic: Carly Pini

The THEODIST National Swimming Championships, an annual prestigious event on the Papua New Guinea Swimming Inc (PNGSI) calendar, offered a competition stage for our talented and enthusiastic 84 swimmers who entered to compete from the Lae and Boroko Swim Clubs as young as 6 years old up to 41 years old.

The continued sponsorship received from Theodist Limited towards the championships allowed PNGSI to provide a national competition run under FINA rules for our athletes to showcase their talent in the pool.

A very competitive group of athletes took part as they raced the clock swimming personal best times and setting new records.  The records recorded were nine PNG Age records and six PNG Masters Records.

Pic: Carly Pini

17 year old Savanah Tkatchenko took records in the 50m Butterfly clocking 31.31 previously held by Georgia-Leigh Vele 31.56, 50m Breaststroke 36.51 previously held by Betty Madouna 39.53, 50m Backstroke 32.63 previously held by Shanice Paraka 33.06, and the 100m Breaststroke 1:19.22 previously held by Jocelyn Flynn 1:21.34; while sister 15 year old Ebony Tkatchenko took the record in the 100m Freestyle event swimming a time of 1:01.39 previously held by Savannah Tkatchenko 1:01.95 and the 100m Backstroke event 1:11.12 previously held by Savannah Tkatchenko 1:12.07.  18 year old Shanice Paraka swam into the record books in the 50m Backstroke event swimming 32.42, this record was previously held by Anna-Liza Mopio-Jane 32.86.

Pic: Carly Pini

A long standing record set by Nigel Cluer in 1973 in the 200m Breaststroke event was broken by 18 year old Ryan Maskelyne swimming a time of 2:27.26 in this age group, the previous time by Nigel was 2:35.40.  Ryan Maskelyne also broke Ian Nakmai’ age record in 100m Breaststroke clocking 1:06.56, previous record was 1:12.16.

Three new PNG Masters Records were set by Tamara Green swimming in the 30-34 age group in 200m Breaststroke 3:44.65, 100m Freestyle 1:22.88, 100m Breaststroke 1:48.14 while team mate Kevin Debruyn swimming in the 40-44 age group also broke three PNG Masters records in 100m Freestyle clocking 1:09.56 previous record belonged to Peter McCrea 1:15.06, 200m Freestyle 2:45.58 previous record was held by Ben Raftery 2:59.17 and the 50m Freestyle 29.79 which was previously held by Randy Albrecht 30.59.

The Theodist championships also provided an opportunity for our athletes to swim qualifying times to register a spot on the BSP Kundu National Aquatic Excellence Squads.

New additions into the BSP Junior Silver (9-11 year age group) were William Boddington, Nicholas Vava, and Sean Green.

BSP Intermediate Aquatic Excellence Squad (Males 12-16 years, Females 12-15 years) Silver were Mitchell Elliott, Joshua Small, Tyler Vincin, Chris Morea, and Julius Kavon; Gold was Rahema Kalate.

BSP Kundu Target Aquatic Excellence Squads (13+ years) Bronze Target were Matthew Vali, Tanguy Langelet, Raila Ila, Vincent Tubyuavulina, and Keven John; Silver Target were James Runnegar, and Josh Tarere; Gold Target were Ebony Tkatchenko, Savannah Tkatchenko, and Shanice Paraka; and Platinum Target was Ashley Seeto.

Through events of this standard we are now seeing our younger athletes forging ahead, as they develop and grow in the sport of swimming through competition.  The BSP Aquatic Excellence Squads to day has a membership of seventy-eight swimmers.

At the conclusion of the competition a meeting was held to name team members on the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games, Nassau, Bahamas 19-23 July, 17th FINA World Championships, Budapest, Hungary 14-30 July, Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games SC Swim Competition Ashgabat Turkmenistan 17-27 September and the Train on Squads for the Commonwealth Games and the Oceania Championship 2018.

PNGSI sincerely thanks Theodist limited for setting the scene for a great competition in the Taurama Aquatic Centres 50m pool.

Liz WELLS – 71858270

President PNGSI