I was hoping to swim a faster time, says Pini

“I was hoping to push myself a bit harder and swim a faster time in order to reach the semis,” says PNG’s super fish Ryan Pini.

“It would have been better to have a couple more races prior to doing the 100m butterfly to allow me to get comfortable with the pre-race set-up and the racing environment, but unfortunately this wasn’t the case,” Pini said.

“I’m grateful to my team PNG teammates who were able to come out and support me and also all the people in PNG that woke up to watch the race," he added.

Evaluating on his fourth Olympics, Pini said he felt proud to compete in his fourth Olympics comparing his first Olympic attendance in Athens.

“With my first Olympics in 2004 in Athens, I was so excited to be at the Olympics that I remember taking photos with the Olympic Rings whenever I came across them,” he said.

And now in his fourth Games, he is happy to say he has grown used to seeing the rings and it is easier for him to remain focused on his training and competition.

"I love representing my country and to be able to do it four times at the highest level of sporting competition is something very special," he stated.

The Rio Games have been great for swimming. The pool layout is nice, especially with bringing the Oceania swimmers together, he said.

“It was amazing to carry the PNG flag at the opening ceremony, a special moment which I will cherish," Pini said.

He is also one of 24 candidates up for the IOC Athletes Commission elections during the Rio Olympics.

Moreover, Chef de Mission Emma Waiwai also commended Pini for his dedication and urged other Papua New Guinean athletes to follow his path.

“Ryan is a role model elite athlete and it’s an honour to watch him compete at his 4th Olympics. His commitment to his training and his behavior is exemplary and I hope all athletes follow his example.

“I congratulate him for everything he has achieved for PNG," Waiwai said.

Lamech Jinimbo