Juhn Tenorio made CNMI swimming history in Day 3 of the 15th FINA World Swimming Championships last Saturday inside the cavernous Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
This, after the 17-year-old Marianas High School student broke the CNMI record in the men’s 50m freestyle with an incredible time of 23.97.
“I feel great that I got a 23.97! I can’t believe that I am at the level where my senior swimmers were. I grew up idolizing those guys and it feels unreal that I am in that position. I will make my best efforts to inspire the younger generation just like how my senior swimmers did to me,” said Tenorio after his record-breaking swim.
CNMI national swimming coach Hiroyuki Kimura said Tenorio’s swim eclipsed the 23.99 that was previously held by CNMI swimming legend Kai Staal and in the process Tenorio made himself the top sprinter in CNMI swimming history.
“Juhn’s target which I set up was 24 seconds. My estimation was he might swim the 50m freestyle in 24 seconds and in the low milliseconds. Juhn’s first target was Rezne Wong’s time of 24.04. When Rezne was a college student, he marked this result at the FINA Short Course Championships in Istanbul, Turkey. Juhn’s dream target was to cut Kai Staal’s record 23.99. It’s amazing that Juhn did it and swam a 23.97!” he said.
Shoko Litulumar also broke the CNMI girls 13-14 age group record in the women’s 50m backstroke in Day 4 of the competition Sunday after the 14-year-old MHS student completed the race in 33.85.
Kimura said Litulumar beat the Federated States of Micronesia’s Jourdyn Adams and in thus avenged her sister Asaka’s loss to the same swimmer in the women’s 100m freestyle the day before.
“It was the first time she challenge 50m backstroke in an official and big international competition. Though it’s a short course meet, Shoko’s time must be faster than CNMI record because this meet is a short course meet. The CNMI record is only for a long course meet,” he said.
The CNMI National Swimming Team concluded their participation in the 15th FINA World Swimming Championships Monday when Jinnosuke Suzuki competed in the men’s 100m freestyle and Asaka Litulumar swam in the women’s 50m freestyle.
Aside from the national swimmers and Kimura, also part of the CNMI delegation in Abu Dhabi are Northern Mariana Islands Swimming Federation representatives Richard Sikkel and Hiroko Tenorio.