Pini (PNG) shows talent at World Cup

Federations News

The Asian leg of the 2011 FINA/ARENA World Cup series held in Singapore, Beijing and Tokyo saw PNG Olympian Ryan Pini, eager to swim well and fast competing in the 50m and 100m freestyle, 50m and 100m backstroke, 50m and 100m butterfly in a 25 metre pool.

Ryan’s first event in the World Cup series was the heat swim of the 100m freestyle in Singapore where he clocked 49.43, a life time personal best time to finish in 10th place. Next was the 100m backstroke, an event Ryan has not swum for many years. He qualified in third spot for the final (53.30). “Ryan’s 50m butterfly was his last heat swim of the morning and he qualified in third spot with a sub 24 swim,” said Coach Rick Van der Zant.

Ryan's first final in the evening was the 100m backstroke which saw him eclipse his old personal best by 0.8 of a second stopping the clock in a time of 52.13. A great race with Ryan being only 0.33 behind the winner French swimmer Jeremy Stravius 51.80. After presentation of the bronze medal Ryan focused on the butterfly sprint, he finished in a very close fifth spot to swim another personal best of 23.67 in a short course pool (25m). Kenyan swimmer Jason Dunford took out the gold in a time of 22.92” said Van der Zant.

"Heat Session day two of the Singapore World Cup saw Ryan swim the 100m butterfly. He qualified in seventh spot for the evening final with a solid 53.21. Chad Le Clos of South Africa took out the gold in a time of 50.63. Ryan backed up to qualify in sixth spot in the 50m backstroke final. Ryan’s time of 25.16 was only 0.2 outside his life time best. Thirty minutes later Ryan contested his third event for the session the 50m freestyle. He swam a 22.98 and finished twelveth overall", said his coach.

During the evening finals Ryan Pini swam personal best times in both the 100m butterfly and 50m backstroke events. In the 100m butterfly, he finished seventh (52.84) and in the 50m backstroke final he finished sixth (24.89), another personal best.

The second Asian stop was Beijing at the Olympic water cube pool. Twenty-nine year old Pini began his assault in Beijing with the 100m freestyle (49.51) to place seventh going into the finals where he clocked 49.11. In the 100m backstroke, Ryan swam a time of 53.39 swimming into ninth place. In the 50m butterfly, he placed ninth (24.14), missing the final by 0.05. In the 100m butterfly, Ryan swam into seventh spot (52.77 securing a place in the evening finals. Ryan completed the final in a time of 52.18 placing seventh overall. “He went out in a comfortable 24.42 and completed the race in a 52.18 a half second quicker than this morning to finish seventh,” said Coach Van der Zant. In the 50m freestyle, Pini finished in seventh spot in the heats clocking 22.90. In the finals, he finished a credible sixth place with another massive personal best stopping the clock at 22.58. The 50m backstroke event saw Ryan chase the Chinese down the pool to finish in fifth place (24.85). “Racing here in Beijing has been good, I have so many good emotions walking back into this pool,” said Ryan. 

The Tokyo leg started with Pini competing in the 100m freestyle (49.60) qualifying 17th. In the 100m backstroke, he finished eighth, his fastest heat swim from all three meets in a time of 52.93. In the finals Ryan swam into eighth place clocking 52.97. This was followed by the 50m butterfly event where Ryan finished 14th in a time of 24.05. “A great effort by Ryan clocking in at 24.05 to miss the final by 0.3! He finished 14th in another close fight for a finals finish,” said Van der Zant.

Based on Media Release by Elizabeth Wells, President PNG Swimming, Inc.

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