High hopes for Tsunami Saipan swimmers


Tsunami Saipan swimmers pose for a photo before resuming their training session at the Kan Pacific Swimming Pool early this week. (Contributed Photo)

Tsunami Saipan Swimming Center head coach Hiro Kimura has high expectations from the club’s members as the 2017-2018 season begins early next month.

Kimura said they have 86 swimmers getting ready for the races and 44 of them are qualified to compete in various tournaments, starting off with the Northern Mariana Islands Swimming Federation Opening Meet on Oct. 7.

“We have strong rookies. A lot of them come to practice every day. As a coach, I guarantee they will surprise many people this season. Of course, they are not yet ready to make CNMI records, but many of our young swimmers have big potential to do so,” Kimura said.

“Everyone worked hard during the summer practices,” the Tsunami Saipan coach added.

Kimura made special mention of four Tsunami Saipan swimmers—Aika Watanabe, Hans Xu, Joseph Ziang and Kian Pajarillaga.

The 10-year-old Pajarillaga debuted for Tsunami Saipan last season and in less than two years time, Kimura has seen significant improvement from the Grace Christian Academy student.

“He has improved a lot and became a swimmer who can almost go to a Guam meet. I have big expectation from him this season,” Kimura said.

As for the 13-year-old Watanabe, the Tsunami Saipan coach is positive that the club’s vice captain will soon enter the CNMI record books.

“Last season, Aika won first place in the International Flipper Race and in the Guam Ocean Swim and Guam Championships. Her target for the new season is to win first place in the girls 13 to 14 age group. I’m sure she can make it because she has greatly improved this summer. Aika trained in Japan this summer and worked harder here, too. She will become a CNMI record holder in the very near future,”

Kimura has the same kind words for the 11-year-pld Xu and 13-year-old Zhang, taking note of the extra work that the two swimmers put into every training session during the summer season.

“We are looking forward to seeing good performances from them in this new season,” Kimura said.

Meanwhile, Tsunami Saipan would like to thank Dolphin Club Saipan for its support to the club.

“We really hope to make a stronger relationship with DCS and join their ocean swim events this season,” Kimura 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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