Given how all manner of sports was in a standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all four swimmers selected to represent the CNMI in the 15th FINA World Swimming Championships are more than excited to travel to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates this December.
Jinnosuke Suzuki promised that he will work doubly hard the next couple of months to achieve his goal in the World Championships.
“I am glad that I was selected to represent the CNMI. My goal for this competition is to get under a 55 for the 100m free and cut 2 minutes for the 200m free. I know that the four of us selected to swim in Abu Dhabi will work hard everyday and I believe that the results will show it,” he said.
Juhn Tenorio seconded Suzuki’s comments, adding that not only will they meet their goals, but will more likely surpass them at the World Championships.
“I am very excited to go with this team and cannot wait to show the hard work done behind the scenes. My target for this competition is to go under 1 minute in my 100m backstroke. We have two more months to work on our weaknesses and technical skills. I am confident that my team and I will surpass our expectations and bring back some good results. We will continue to work hard and bring out our best performance on race day,” he said.
Shoko Litulumar, for her part, admitted that her selection to Team CNMI hasn’t totally soaked in yet.
“I have practiced hard to be chosen as a qualifier, and I am proud of myself to be chosen as one. But since I have been the one to get chosen, I need to train myself even harder than the rest, both physically and mentally. There are people in my team who wanted to get qualified as well but couldn’t meet the qualifications, so on behalf of the people who couldn’t qualify, I will do my best to show them why I was chosen,” she said.
Litulumar also promised to give more than her 100% in the Abu Dhabi World Championships.
“I will surpass my limits, learn new techniques, and use them during practice to showcase them during the World Championships. I look forward to what this journey will bring,” she added.
Litulumar’s sister, Asaka, already is looking forward to become a faster swimmer before and after her experience in the World Championships.
“I am delighted to be selected as a representative for the Northern Mariana Islands. My goal is to become an even faster swimmer before the World Championships in December. I will focus on fixing my technique to better my form because my swimming form needs a little brush-up. I can achieve this goal by swimming harder while still being conscious of how I swim. I am grateful for this opportunity, and I will continue to work hard and do my very best!”
Swimming Center Tsunami Saipan head coach Hiro Kimura is confident that Suzuki, Tenorio, and the Litulumar sisters will make their Tsunami Saipan teammates proud in the 15th FINA World Swimming Championships.
“I sincerely hope that they will be a good role model for the young swimmers who follow them. There are a lots of young swimmers in our team. The closest are Isaiah Aleksenko, Kean Pajarillaga, and Maria Batallones those who have already reached the national representative level. I believe swimmers going to Abu Dhabi will act as good athletes for those who will follow on their footsteps in the near future,” he said.
Aside from Suzuki, Tenorio, the Litulumar sister, and Kimura, also making up the CNMI team to the World Championships is Saipan Swim Club coach Richard Sikkel, who will go to Abu Dhabi as representative of the Northern Mariana Islands Swimming Federation.