Northern Marianas Dominating Fifth Micronesian Games

POHNPEI, FSM, July 22. IT'S not highlighted on many calendars as one of the top swimming competitions of 2002. But the Fifth Micronesian Games are underway, and SwimInfo is here to cover it.

The competition is being held in Micronesia, a group of beautiful tropical islands, on a spec of land in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean. Ironically, it was among the islanders of this region that the modern crawlstreoke had its origins.

The competition here includes traditional sports, such as swimming and track and field, as well as some less traditional events, including spear-fishing and coconut tree climbing.

The first Games were held in 1969, but it wasn't until 21 years later that the second Games were held. They have been held every four years since then.

This year's Games feature nine islands or island groups: the Northern Marianas, Marshall islands, nauru, palau, Pohnpei (FSM), Chuuk and Kosrae.

The Northern Marianas dominated day One of competition in the six-lane, 50-meter pool here, winning seven of the 10 events contested. Swimmers from Pohnpei, Guam and the Marshalls won one gold apiece.

Xenavee Pangelinan (CNMI) won two events on the first day, taking a close women's 100 free in 1:00.00, then destroying her competition by more than a minute in the 400 IM with her 5:14.84. She also swam a leg on CNMI's winning 4x100m free relay.

Other CNMI winners: Dean Palacio, men's 50m fly (27.53), Jeremy Winkfield, men's 100m breast (1:12.53), Seung Gin Lee, men's 400m IM (4:46.55), the women's 400m free relay (4:23.50) and the men's 400m free relay (3:52.78).

Other first day winners: Tracy-Ann Route, Pohnpei, women's 50m fly (32.75), Rachel Lannen, Guam, women's 100m breaststroke (1:20.93), and Loren Lindborg (Marshalls), men's 100m freestyle (55.66).

The first Gamesof many

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