Fri, 05 Aug 1994

National swimmers break four records in California

JAKARTA (JP): Indonesian swimmers currently training in America for October's Asian Games in Hiroshima shattered four more national records.

The new records were established during the Junior Olympic Swimming championships in Clovis, California which started on Wednesday.

The country's new pool queen, Elsa Manora Nasution, splashed her way to her fourth record-breaking time when she clocked two minutes and 62 seconds in her favorite 200-meter backstroke. She impressively cut 2.19secs off the old mark she set at the end of July.

Olga Halim followed in Elsa's footsteps when she timed 2:18.56 to beat teammate Susanti Wangsawiguna's one-year 200m butterfly record by 1.69secs. Olga, a West Sumatra native, also narrowly beat the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games record of 2:18.74.

Another women's swimmer Rita Mariani lived up to her billing as a 200m breaststroke specialist with a new national record of 2:37.88, surpassing her previous best of 2:38.04 which earned her the SEA Games bronze medal last year.

Felix C. Susanto was the only male swimmer to break a record. The Central Java native narrowly beat Lukman Niode's nine-year- old national record of 2:09.06 by 0.18sec, but was more than five second behind the SEA Games record held by the Philippines' Raymond Papa.

The Indonesian Swimming Federation sent three male swimmers, Vidi Lukman Korompis and the Sutanto brothers Felix and Albert plus five female swimmers Elsa, Rita, Olga, Meitri Widya Pangestika and Cynthia Putrianda to the overseas training stint in June.

They joined national men swimmers Wirmandi Sugriat, Wisnu Wardhana and Richard Sam Bera who are in the U.S. attending school. The national team was scheduled to stay in California for one and a half months.

The national swimming team, under tutelage of coach Raja Nasution, will return home after the championships wind up on Saturday.

On Monday, the national sports governing body, KONI, will announce the athletes who qualify for the continent's sporting festival. The sports body hinted earlier it would like to have four men and four women swimmers on the national team for the Games. (amd)