Tsunami Saipan swimmers stay afloat

It’s been nearly a year since the Kan Pacific Swimming Pool shut down, but Swimming Center Tsunami Saipan is not giving up, as its members continue to train and get ready for competitions.

Head coach Hiro Kimura said they will start their new season on Sept. 1 and will join meets and training camps in Guam, Japan, and possibly South Korea.

“We plan to go Guam next month. It is a SC (short course) meet but it’s good for warming-up at the beginning of the season,” said Kimura, who conducts training sessions at the 25-meter pool at the Pacific Islands Club Saipan.

Guam’s first short course meet is scheduled for Sept. 7 at the Hagatna Swimming Pool and the Guam Swimming Federation has four more SC events (25m pool), while the long course (50m) season will begin in January and will feature six competitions.

Besides the meets in Guam, Tsunami Saipan swimmers are also planning to join the 2nd Annual Micronesian Swimming Championships in April (the host island has yet to be announced). Tsunami Saipan collected 39 gold medals from the inaugural MSC hosted at the National Swimming Pool in Palau in April this year. The club had 10 members making it to Team CNMI and all of them won medals.

Isaiah Aleksenko led Tsunami Saipan’s strong showing in in Palau after getting 13 gold medals (including relay races) in the U12 age group, while Ashley Dangol, bagged 12 gold medals (including relay).

Aleksenko just returned from a three-week training camp in Guam and is expected to lead Tsunami Saipan in the MSC, while Ashley and her brother, Aasish are now in California and doing well in swim meets in their new home.

“We thanked coach Iijima and Tsunami Guam for helping Isaiah during his training camp,” Kimura said

Meanwhile, despite losing the Dangol siblings, Kimura is confident that they will still perform well in off-island competitions because they have other veteran swimmers and new strong ones this season.

Junh Tenorio and Aika Watanabe are among the club’s senior members and both represented the CNMI in the XVI Pacific Games in Samoa and the 2019 FINA World Championships in South Korea. They gave good account of themselves in the two regional competitions despite limited preparations in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yutu and the absence of the 50-meter pool—the standard used in races in Samoa and South Korea.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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