Simon says I’ll win again; ditto for Vivian in 50m

Posted on Aug 02 2021

Simon Shindo and Vivian Chung

Simon Shindo and Vivian Chung didn’t only repeat as winners of the 50m but also beat their previous times in the second installment of Saipan Swim Club’s Triple Crown Open Water Swim Series last July 23 in the waters off the Civic Center Beach in Susupe.

Shindo was the first out of the water in the boys’ 10-and-under with a time of 1:18.67 that was an improvement to the 1:53.4 he registered in the last open water swim on July 10.

“I want to thank all volunteers who organized the ocean swim. I’m very happy to have finished first as ocean conditions were bad. Waves were not only big but were also very strong, but I’m fine,” he said.

When asked since he already won two straight 50m swims, if he would be amenable to taking on the 100m race next meet, Shindo declined.

“My target for the next ocean swim is again to get the gold medal in the 50m. I really don’t want to try the 100m yet. I’ll be exhausted.”

Shindo’s parents also thanked the organizers of the open water swim and congratulated all the swimmers.

“As parents, we are really thankful that Simon had opportunities to swim in the ocean and all the people who make this possible. We are impressed with our son, Simon, and all swimmers’ efforts and accomplishment in the race.”

Finishing second to Shindo in the boys’ 10-and-under was Wigan Pugion with a time of 1:31.90, while third place went to Seungwoo Lee at 1:35.4.

“When I was in the ocean swim I was really nervous. But I finished third place so I’m very happy. I was little scared because of the big waves. Next ocean swim I hope to win gold,” Lee said when asked about his experience in the ocean swim.

Chung topped the girls’ 10-and-under with a time of 1:11.65, which not only beat Shindo’s time but also eclipsed the 1:28.6 she recorded in the first ocean swim.

“When I did the ocean swim I felt a little bit scared but when I heard my name in the ceremony I was really happy. My target in the next ocean swim is to be first place and do my best,” said Chung.

Her mother said swimming conditions were not ideal for that day as it was raining and the ocean tides were rough.

“Except for the bad weather, every swimmer and parent who participated and viewed the race had an awesome time. Especially for the kids, they enjoyed it as it builds confidence and self-esteem and they get to rely on their own strength and ability. Vivian can hardly wait for the last race on Sept. 25 and as a parent, I wish we have more events like this in the future for the kids living on Saipan,” she said.
Eva Shin came in second to Chung with a time of 1:33.16. ”When I was doing the ocean swim it was so hard. But when I practice that was fun and a little hard. I like the ocean swim. Target is second place in the next ocean swim,” she said.

Third place went to Gwen Retardo with a time of 1:34.27. Even with the rough waters and strong waves, Retardo’s mother said she wasn’t scared because she fully trusted Swimming Center Tsunami Saipan coach Hiro Kimura.

“If he wouldn’t cancel the race that meant he knew the swimmers could do it. There were also other talented swimmers around so I had no fear at all. I’m happy that I was able to see my daughter completing the race, being so brave out there enduring the big waves. Her swimming is becoming better and better all thanks to coach Hiro’s dedication in training our kids. Can’t be thankful enough. I’m looking forward to the next ocean swim,” 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 100m for advanced and 500m open will be published in the next issues of Saipan Tribune.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at
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