Tsunami Swimming Center Saipan’s Kensuke Kimura will soon be competing in the collegiate ranks after getting a slot on the Chukyo University swim team.
According to Kensuke’s father, Hiro, the former will start suiting up for Chukyo on April 1. Chukyo is a private university in Aichi Prefecture in Japan and has campuses in Nagoya and Toyota. The older Kimura added that the university has produced several swimmers who represented Japan in the Olympics and World Championships. Chukyo has also won two college championships in the last four years and is under the guidance of Japan national coach (FINA short course) Yuichiro Sasaki.
Kensuke, in an email to Saipan Tribune, said he is honored to be part of the champion team and thankful to have a chance to compete in the collegiate level.
“It is such an honor to swim for the champion school and I thanked everyone who helped me make the team. Thank you to the people who supported me since the day I started swimming and until now. I couldn’t have done this all by myself,” said Kensuke who left the island for Japan mid last year after completing high school at Grace Christian Academy.
When he moved to Japan, Kensuke continued swimming, joined a club called Watermates and competed in some local meets.
“I also got a chance to practice with Tokai University, Yokohama Toin, Kanagawa, and Takushoku,” said Kensuke, who ended up with Chukyo University after joining the school’s Recruit Activity program.
Hiro explained that the school’s program is for athletes with good recommendations from clubs/associations and swimmers had to undergo a series of tests to make the grade.
Kensuke added that some members of Chukyo came to Saipan for a training camp and the coach scouted him while joining the visitors in their training session.
“To get selected on the team is an achievement already because a lot of swimmers from various schools in Japan are hoping to join Chukyo,” Hiro said of his son’s latest feat.
The younger Kimura is expected to have his first competition for Chukyo in May.
“My goal is to help the team win in the University National Championships,” said the 18-year-old swimmer, who will climb to the collegiate ranks after making a name in the CNMI swimming community.
Kimura owns the CNMI national records in 50m backstroke (28.94 seconds), 100m backstroke (1:02.67), and 200m backstroke (2:18.04) and a handful of age group marks. He also represented in the CNMI in the 2010 Micronesian Games, World Championships, Tokyo Junior Sprint, Australian Olympic Festival, and Oceania Swimming Championships.