CNMI swimmers to hold clinic in Yap

CNMI National Swimming Team coach Jacoby Winkfield, right, joins his Micronesian Games-bound swimmers for a group photo after their training session in Susupe last week. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Living up to the 2018 Micronesian Games’ theme “more than just games,” the CNMI National Swimming Team will hold a swim clinic in Yap.

“We will be staying in Yap for a week and after the open water swim, we and Palau will be conducting swim lessons to young kids in Yap,” head coach Jacoby Winkfield said in an interview with Saipan Tribune last week before they left for Papua New Guinea to compete in the 12th Oceania Swimming Championships.

Winkfield and swimmers Kento and Taiyo Akimaru, Lennosuke and Jinnosuke Suzuki, Juhn Tenorio, Nelson Batallones, Anthony Camacho-Deleon Guerrero, Kiana Villagomez, Sophia Gauran, and David Boyer will leave Saipan for Yap on July 17. The open water swim will be held on June 20 and 21 at the Marina Bay in Colonia.

“We have the biggest swimming pool—the ocean—in the Pacific and it’s just disappointing to find out that children in Yap are not into swimming. We should promote the sport in our region so we will have more people competing not only in the Pacific, but also in other regional and international tournaments,” Winkfield said.

Kento, the senior member of the team, is excited to work with Yap children and share his knowledge in swimming.

“It’s hard to teach swimming in open water, but I will do my best. I am excited to meet kids in Yap and teach them about the sport that I like and love,” Kento said.

Meanwhile, Winkfield said the CNMI swimmers will make the most out of the open water race competition with the absence of the usual swimming contest.

He said they initially prepared for swim races in the pool after the organizing committee said that a facility will be built for the competition. However, in February this year, they were told no pool will be constructed and the open water swim was just included into the Micro Games’ calendar with the prodding from Palau and CNMI.

“We continued to train in the pool and in open water despite some confusion in the events for the Micro Games. We don’t know the water conditions in Yap, but we’re ready for anything,” Winkfield said.

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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