Saipan Swim Club’s Lennosuke Suzuki and Tsunami Swimming Center Saipan’s Nelson Batallones left the island for Japan last Tuesday morning to represent the CNMI in the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships 2018.
Suzuki and Batallones will have four events each in the competition that will start today and run until Sunday at the Tatsumi International Swimming Center in Tokyo. The two Commonwealth swimmers will be racing against the representatives of Argentina, Canada, Ecuador, Oman, Thailand, Australia, China, Guam, Palau, U.S., Bahamas, the Cook Islands, Peru, Brazil, Colombia, New Zealand, and the Philippines.
The 15-year-old Suzuki will complete in the 100m breaststroke qualifying race today. He is on Heat 1 and the youngest among the eight swimmers in his group. Suzuki will be up against China’s Yunsong Liu, Australia’s Zac Stubblety-Cook, the U.S.’ Lawrence Wilson and Charles Andrew, and Canada’s Richard Funk and Eli Wall. The 100m breaststroke event has one more heat.
Meanwhile, Batallones will also see action in the opening day of the tournament, as he is entered on Heat 1 of the 200m freestyle event. He will be racing against Guam’s Mark Imazu, Palau’s Noel Keane, the Philippines’ Jason Jarod Hatch and Armand Pierre Chan, and Oman’s Samir Hamei Al Adawi Issa. There are four other heats in the 200m freestyle event.
After his opening event, the 15-year-old Batallones will have the 200m butterfly race tomorrow and then the 100m butterfly this Saturday before concluding his participation in the Pan Pac on Sunday via the 50m freestyle swim.
Suzuki is also doing the 50m freestyle race and it is likely that he and Batallones will be placed on the same heat. Before the sprint event, the SSC swimmer will also compete in the 100m freestyle (Friday) and 200m individual medley (Saturday) races. The start list for Friday to Sunday’s events has yet to be posted on the competition website.
The tournament in Japan is Batallones and Suzuki’s third for the last two months. Late in June, they were part of the CNMI National Team that participated in the 12th Oceania Swimming Championships held in Papua New Guinea with both swimmers earning several personal best times. Then last month, Suzuki and Batallones along with Kento and Taiyo Akimaru, Jinnosuke Suzuki, Juhn Tenorio, Anthony Camacho-Deleon Guerrero, Kiana Villagomez, Sophia Gauran, and David Boyer represented the Commonwealth in the ocean swim competition in the 9th Micronesian Games in Yap. The swim team won one gold medal and four silvers in the Micro Games.