Three of Saipan’s swimmers have been invited to participate in the Sydney Youth Olympic Festival to be held in Sydney January 10-14, 2001.
Seung Gin Lee, Tamiko Winkfield and Xenavee Pangelinan were selected to participate in four day competition in the same facilities where the Olympic Games were held, but Xenavee will not be able to attend.
The other sports being contested during this sports festival are Athletics, Basketball, Canoe and Kayak, Cycling, Hockey, Gymnastics, Rowing, Triathlon and Beach Volleyball.
About 2000 athletes and officials are expected to compete, with most of the competition being at the Homebush Stadium complex. The event has the patronage of the International Olympic Committee and is supported by the Oceania National Olympic Committee.
The competition is open to elite junior athletes only between the ages of 15-18 years old.
In August last year, six swimmers from Saipan competed in the same Sydney Aquatics Center during the Pacific School Games.
Swimmers from all Oceania countries were invited but only swimmers from Fiji, Papua New Guinea and the NMI are going, and will be representing a team from Oceania.
Bill Sakovich was selected as one of the coaches. Other countries sending teams to the Sydney Youth Olympic Festival are the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Japan.
Tammy and Seung Gin have been training very hard including two-a-day sessions twice a week. Both swam on Guam last week returning with medals and High Point Trophies in the senior division. They will be departing Saipan on Jan. 8 and returning on 17.
All the new swimmers competing for the Saipan Swim Club this year will have their first off island competition on Guam January 19 and 20, 2001. They too have been training hard under coaches Mike Villagomez and Val Welch.
Twenty swimmers will be making the trip in addition to Cory San Nicholas and Seth Manglona of Tinian. Their only competition to date has been the All Schools Championships where they each place in the top six of their divisions. They have both attended some training sessions on Saipan with SSC members.