Pini among Olympic stars due to compete at Oceania Swimming Championships - Solomon Star News

Pini among Olympic stars due to compete at Oceania Swimming Championships

20 June 2016

SUVA, (INSIDE THE GAMES) - Papua New Guinea's former Commonwealth Games champion Ryan Pini will be among top swimmers competing at the Oceania Championships due to open in Fijian capital Suva this week.

The biennial event, first held in 1993, will return to Fiji for the first time since 2004.

Action will begin with open water swimming five kilometres races in the Uprising Beach Resort before pool action gets underway today.

Four days of swimming and synchronised swimming competition will then take place at the Damodar National Aquatic Centre.

The week-long event is then due to conclude on Saturday (June 25) with 10km open water races.

Unlike at the Pacific Games, both Australia and New Zealand are due to participate alongside Pacific island nations, although Australia in particular is not sending its strongest team.

A 20-strong team is being led by 17-year-old national age group record holder Zac Stubblety-Cook.

Pini, the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games champion who became the first Papua New Guinean to reach an Olympic final at Beijing 2008, will lead an eight-person team from the 2015 Pacific Games hosts.

Rising star Gabrielle Fa’amausili, the world junior champion in the 50m backstroke, is set to lead a 35-strong New Zealand squad.

Another star due to compete is New Caledonia's Lara Grangeon.

The 36-time Pacific Games gold medal winner is a French Olympian but competes at regional events for the overseas territory.