Leo, Andrea again pace 20m open water swim

Posted on Jul 30 2021

Participants of the 20m beginners course of Saipan Swimming Club’s Triple Crown Open Water Swim Series are just happy to finish the course that was made more difficult by inclement weather last Saturday in the waters off the Civic Center Beach in Susupe. (Mark Rabago)

Swimming Center Tsunami Saipan Leo Li and Andrea Ryu again topped the 20m beginners course of Saipan Swimming Club’s Triple Crown Open Water Swim Series last Saturday morning in the waters off the Civic Center Beach in Susupe.

Li didn’t just top the boys 10-and-under but also managed to shave milliseconds from the 1:29.6 he recorded in the last open water swim by finishing this time in 1:17.41, despite the rough sea conditions that day.

Fellow Tsunami Saipan Shuro Barman again finished second in the second part of the open water meet with a time of 1:43.16, while Saipan Swim Club’s Tony Wang came in third at 2:07.55.

Li’s mother couldn’t help but show her pleasure in watching her son win the 20m race anew. “Just I’m surprised he got two times on the top, and I wish he could keep going.”

Like Li, Ryu also improved from her July 10 time of 1:27.7 with a swim of 1:20.32 last Saturday. She was followed by Daria Shatskova at 1:23:0, while Fiona Yu completed the Top 3 by finishing in 1:33.79.

Ryu’s mother said she’s just relieved all the swimmers managed to finish the race despite the large swells brought by the inclement weather.

“Swimming in the sea was unfamiliar and extremely difficult than swimming in a pool at her age. It was a cold sea with rain and wind. But Andrea seems to be happy and excited at the starting line,” she said.

Shatskova’s mother said she’s quite happy with her daughter’s swim and progression in the sport.

“She got the second place for the second time by showing the stable result despite rough sea conditions. This result is for sure a combination of strong will, effort, and patience. Thank you to Tsunami Saipan coach Hiro [Kimura], all the organizers, participants, support teams, and volunteers. We need to keep up events like this in our community as it is very beneficial to everyone,” she said.

Yu’s mother thanked Tsunami Saipan coach Hiro Kimura for making her daughter become a good swimmer and considers a third-place finish in the 20m beginners course a bonus.

“Fiona was scared of the ocean because of a bad incident she experienced when she was little. If she hadn’t been encouraged before the competition by the coach, she would have given up. I am grateful to coach Kimura, as he used his magical powers on my daughter and made her forget her fears,” she said.

Triple Crown Open Water Swim Series was sanctioned by the Northern Mariana Islands Swimming Federation and is the second of three events, which main purpose is to choose four swimmers (top two men and top two women) that will represent the CNMI in the 2021 FINA World Championships in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates this coming December.

Results of the 50m for intermediate, 100m for advanced, and 500m open will be published in the next issues of the Saipan Tribune.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at Mark_Rabago@saipantribune.com
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