SOUTH KOREA—The CNMI’s Jinju Thompson wrapped up her involvement in the 18th FINA World Swimming Championships with an honorable performance in the women’s 100m freestyle last Thursday in Gwangju.
Her time of 1:10.31 was not quite enough to earn her a new personal best time, but there were still many positives to be taken.
“It was alright, not a personal best, which is always a little disappointing, but it was a good race, felt pretty good, just leaving it all out in the pool was my goal, so I have no regrets,” Thompson said.
The 16-year-old came out for her last event wanting to improve how she tackles the walls and turns in her races. Did her training in the last two days pay off?
“It was better than the 200m. At the wall I was really trying to put all my energy out there, and it was a little bit better so that’s good,” she said.
Unable to practice diving into the pool and turning at walls, as she trains mostly in the ocean back home, Thompson is making the most of some of the technical opportunities in the World Championships at the Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center.
“I practiced diving about 40 times since I got here, so in my warmups I try to practice my dives and turns as much as possible, things I can’t work on in the ocean. We have to get creative because we’re in the ocean, so I can’t really work on flip turns. I do go to a pool in the morning, a hotel pool (15m), but the wall is a little bit crooked so I have to aim myself just right if I want to make that turn, so yes just getting creative,” Thompson said.
All this adds up to how much the young CNMI swimmer has achieved at these championships and in the wider aspects of her swimming. The teenager looks to have a positive future in the sport.