4 CNMI swimmers to compete in worlds champs


Jinju Thompson does the butterfly stroke of the 200m individual medley event in a local meet this year at the Kan Pacific Swimming Pool. Thompson is one of the four swimmers that will represent the CNMI in the 17th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary in July. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Northern Marianas Islands Swimming Federation has selected four swimmers to represent the CNMI in the 17th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary in July.

Victoria Chentsova and Christian Villacrusis will be making their second world championships appearance, while Lennosuke Suzuki and Jinju Thompson are debuting in the FINA-sanctioned meet for the first time.

Chentsova, who is now based in Massachusetts, donned the colors of the Commonwealth in the 16th FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia in 2015, while Villacrusis was part of the CNMI Team that traveled to Windsor, Canada last year to race in the 13th FINA World Swimming Championships (short course). Chentsova and Villacrusis along with Suzuki also competed in the XI Oceania Championships in Fiji last year.

In Hungary, the four CNMI swimmers are among the 3,000 athletes that will be seeing action in the July 14-30 tournament (diving, synchronized swimming, water polo, and swimming competitions). The swim races will run from July 23 to 30 at the brand new Dagály Swimming Complex.

Meanwhile, NMISF has also expressed an interest in sending a team to the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan this September.

NMISF president John Hirsh, during the monthly Northern Marianas Sports Association meeting, said they are looking at fielding 16 swimmers to the competition, but no final decision has been made as they also want to get more details about the airfare and accommodations for the event.

Initially, the CNMI was told that organizers will shoulder airfare and accommodations for the Sept. 17-27 competition, but NMSA president Michael White would like to make sure he got the details right and if there won’t be any limit to the number of athletes and officials the Commonwealth can send to Ashgabat. He added that if participation to the Asian Indoor is all expense paid, the CNMI has to capitalize on this great opportunity, especially the chance to experience and gauge the level of competition in the Asian region.

The 45 member-countries of the Olympic Council of Asia are all invited to the Asian Indoor, which will have 18 events with swimming featuring a short course (25-meter pool). The competition is also opening the meet to Oceania National Olympic Committees members for the first time.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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