Seven years ago, on July 31, in Barcelona, Spain, the CNMI’s Rezne Wong reset the national record in the 200m individual medley after completing his first event in the 15th FINA World Championships.
Wong finished the race in 2:09.59 to break the CNMI national mark (2:10.10), which, he incidentally recorded on July 27, 2011 during the 14th FINA World Championships in Shanghai, China. The many-time World Championships participant was on Heat 1 of the qualifying race and defeated Dominican Republic’s Jean Lula Gomez (2:10.78) and fellow Oceania Swimming Federation swimmer Douglas Miller (2:14:27) of Fiji.
With his record swim in Spain, Wong managed to bring his national record number to five. He holds the national mark in the 50m breaststroke (31.31 seconds), 200m breaststroke (2:23.35), and 50m butterfly (26.66 seconds), which he all posted in the 14th FINA World Championships nine years ago. Wong, who called it a career in 2016 after swimming for NCAA Division I school University of Hawaii-Manoa and is now based in Arizona, also owns the CNMI record mark in the 100m breaststroke (1:07.29), which he registered in the 2012 Guam Championships.
Wong has the second most national marks in the men’s division behind CNMI Sports Hall of Famer and Olympian Jonathan Sakovich, who up to this day has his seven marks undefeated. Sakovich, now a collegiate coach, holds all but one of the records in freestyle (100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, and 1,500m) plus the 200m butterfly and 400M IM.
Other national record holders in the men’s field are Kai Staal (50m freestyle), Kensuke Kimura (50m, 100m, and 200m backstroke events), and Alex Screen (100m butterfly).