Batallones, Suzuki debut in world champs

CNMI swimmers Nelson Batallones and Lennosuke Suzuki plunged into the pool at the Hangzhou Olympic and International Expo Center in China for their first event in the 14th FINA World Championships last Wednesday.

Suzuki raced in the 200m freestyle qualifiers and clocked in at 2:06.54 on Heat 2, which was won by Puerto Rico’s Yeziel Morales Miranda after submitting 1:50.73. American Blake Pieroni topped the event and won the gold medal after recording 1:41.49 in the finals, while Lithuania’s Rapsys Danas (1:41.78) and Australia’s Alexander Graham (1:42.28) took the silver and bronze, respectively.

After Suzuki completed his first event in the short-course (25m) meet, it was Batallones’ turn to see action for the Northern Mariana Islands Swimming Federation and he competed on Heat 2 of the 100m butterfly race. The 16-year-old swimmer timed in at 1:05.15 in his group that had Nigeria’s Philip Adejumo (53.62 second) as top finisher. The medal winners in the event had yet to be determined, as the finals was scheduled last night. Russian Cha Le Clos (49.07 seconds), Chinese Zhuhao Li (49.36), American Caeleb Dressel (48.93 seconds), and German Marius Kusch (49.35 seconds) led the finalists list after taking the Top 2 spots in the two semis races.

In other results last Wednesday, Jinju Thompson completed her pair of races in the biennial tournament after participating in the qualifiers for the 100m freestyle event. She registered 1:09.05 on Heat 3 to place ahead of Sudan’s Haneen Ibrahim (1:20.27) and East Timor’s Imelda Felicyta Ximenes Belo (1:23.07). North Korea’s Mi Song Pak (58.89 seconds) ruled the heat, while the Netherland’s Femke Heemskerk led the eight finalists in the event after logging 51.84 seconds in the semis.

Meanwhile, Batallones will have his last race—50m butterfly—in the tournament today. The Swimming Center Tsunami Saipan member is on Heat 4 of the qualifiers and will be competing against Laos’ Slava Sihanouvong, Ghana’s Papa Yaw Dwumoh Poku-Dwumoh, Tansania’s Collins Saliboko, Palestine’s Nabeel Hatoum, Rwanda’s Isiaka Isihaka, Grenada’s Dajenel Williams, Kenya’s Ridwan Abubakar Mohamed, Cape Verde’s Troy Pina, and Swaziland’s Simanga Dlamini.

As for Suzuki, he will close out for Team CNMI, as he races on Heat 3 of the 100m freestyle event tomorrow. Suzuki will be going up against Mongolia’s Delgerkhuu Myagmar, Sint Maarten’s Vadym Semkiv, the Marshall Islands’ Phillip Kinono, Solomon Islands’ Clifton Daromani, Guinea’s Mamadou Tahirou Bah, Seychelles’ Dean Hoffman, Nicaragua’s Kener Torrez, and Burundi’s Carel Van Melvin Irakoze.

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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