[From Press Release 11 Apr 2016]
The 2016 Hancock Prospecting Australia National Championships will see the best swimmers from across Australia line up behind the blocks ready to race for the chance to fulfil their dreams with selection onto the Australian Olympic and Paralympic Teams for Rio.
Team PNG have had an unbelievable start to the 2016 Hancock Prospecting Australian Swimming Championships currently being held at the South Australia Aquatic & Leisure Centre, Adelaide from 7 to 13 April. Swimmers competing for Team PNG are Ryan Pini, Samuel Seghers, Ryan Maskelyne and Barbara Vali-Skelton.
Day 1 saw both Ryan Pini and Sam Seghers swim Personal Best times in the 50m fly 23.67 and 24.99 respectively while Ryan Maskelyne swam his fastest 100m breaststroke time since Pacific Games, 1:05.90 during the morning heats.
Pini went on to swim the final of the 50m fly, taking out 1st place in a time that equalled his heat time of 23.67. This is Pini's first ever Gold medal at an Australian National Championships.
The brilliance from the swimmers continued through on Day 2 with Seghers competing in the 200 freestyle recording a Personal Best time and a B Olympic qualifying time in the first 100m split. His split time of 50.70 sec will be recorded as a 100m time.
Pini was next up with his 100m backstroke event and again clocking a Personal Best time of 54.99 and ranked 6th.
As these Championships are the Rio Olympic Selection Trials for the Australian team, only 50m butterfly, 50m breaststroke and 50m backstroke finals can be contested by visiting countries.
Pini, Seghers and Maskelyne were all back in the pool on Sunday, competing and performing at their best on Day 4. Pini swam a solid 50.08 in the 100m freestyle which is the fastest time he has recorded since 2009. Seghers equaled his time of 50.70 in his 100m freestyle that he swam just two days prior. Maskelyne took 1.27 seconds off his 200m breaststroke to swim a Personal Best time of 2:19.85.
Pini has two events left, 100m fly on Tuesday and 50m backstroke on Wednesday. His main aim is to swim an A Olympic qualifying time in the 100m fly. Seghers also has 2 events left, 50m freestyle and 100m fly on Tuesday. Maskelyne has the 50 breaststroke on Tuesday remaining. Barbara Vali-Skelton, the only female competitor to represent PNG at these Championships will race her only event, 50m breaststroke on Wednesday.
Already three PNG Records have been recorded, a Gold Medal and ‘B’ Qualifying times. Our team are on fire doing themselves and PNG Proud.