Impressive debut for Tsunami Saipan members


Swimming Center Tsunami Saipan’s Sari Barman, right, and Justin Ma pose with their medals after winning their debut in the 2020 Meek & Mighty Ocean Swim held in the waters off Kanoa Resort in Susupe last Saturday. (Contributed Photo)

Swimming Center Tsunami Saipan members Sari Barman and Justin Ma delivered in their debut in the 2020 Meek & Mighty Ocean Swim held in the waters off Kanoa Resort in Susupe last Saturday.

Barman joined the 1K race of the Saipan Swim Club-organized event and topped the competition after clocking in at 15:05.29. She finished ahead of fellow Tsunami Saipan swimmers Nagusa Litulumar (15:41), Jessica Ma (15:54), Kaya Braxton (17:32), and Arielle Mae (18:40) and Piper Raho (18:44), Georgia Baetge (22:34), Nagi Tenorio (22:44), and Kaori Takahashi (23:31).

Justin Ma also did the 1K event and had the fastest time in the entire field en route to ruling the boys competition. He finished the course in 14:59 to beat Tsunami Saipan teammate Kaito Rechucher (15:54) and SSC’s Tristan Raho (15:59).

“It was their (Sari and Justin) first time to do ocean swim and both swam aggressively. I am so proud of them because they did not only finish first in the division, but also got fast times,” Tsunami Saipan coach Hiro Kimura said.

The club official is looking forward to more success from the two young swimmers, as they have been consistently showing improvements since joining the group just a couple of years ago.

Barman started swimming when she was 6 years old and was named to Kimura’s special reinforcement selection class in 2018. On the same year, she won the high point award in the SSC International Meet and also performed well in the Guam meet last month. Ma was also part of Tsunami Saipan’s special reinforcement selection class and earned Top 3 finishes in the Guam competition.

Batallones, Watanabe lauded
Meanwhile, Kimura also recognized the notable performances of Maria Batallones and Kouki Watanabe in last weekend’s ocean swim.

Both raced in the 3K event and led the finishers list. The 11-year-old Batallones timed in at 37:14 to beat six other swimmers and was the lone finisher to complete the course under 40 minutes. Watanabe, who is also 11 years old, broke the 40-minute mark, too after checking in at 38:07 and beating nine other swimmers.

“They had nice results as they even defeated adult swimmers,” Kimura said.

Overall, Kimura said they are pleased to compete in an ocean swim again after missing some races in the last two years and they hope to participate in more events this season.

“We deeply appreciate SSC, coach Richard Sikkel, and Kanoa Resort for giving us the great opportunity to do the ocean swim again,” 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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