MASKELYNE SETS NEW NATIONAL RECORD IN TOKYO
Ryan Maskelyne ended a successful night (Tuesday, July 27) for the PNG team by breaking his own national record in the 200m breaststroke at the Tokyo Aquatics Center to finish second in his heat.
Maskelyne, based in Brisbane, Australia, was delighted to have set a new national record and attributed her performance to her work with her trainer Shaun Crow.
“It was pretty special. I didn’t have the best preparation last week as I had issues with my knee and Matthew (physiotherapist on the PNG team) was wonderful in helping me with this issue, ”said delighted Maskelyne.
“I thought I was going to go slower than I did six weeks ago at the Australian Trials, which was 2: 17.56. Going out and making a personal best and doing it at the Olympics is pretty special ”.
“My goals were to be the best Pacific Islander in my event, set a personal best and win my series. Checking off two of my three goals is incredible ”.
Maskelyne said that ‘having the opportunity to live and train in Brisbane has been a great blessing throughout this time as Queensland has been virtually unaffected by the COVID pandemic in the past 12 months .
“There were a few short 3-day blockages where I was allowed to train, by the Queensland government.
“The most important thing for me over the past 12 months has been to train at full capacity with no clear indication if the games will actually be going.”
Maskelyne was born in PNG and started competing for the PNG team at the 2015 Pacific Games. He again represented the PNG team at the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2015 (Samoa) and 2017 (Bahamas) and in 2017 at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Turkmenistan. In 2019 at the Samoa Pacific Games, he won silver in the 200 breaststroke.
He won the SP Sports Awards PNG Junior Sportsman of the Year in 2017.
Chef de mission Tamzin Wardley has confirmed that Tokyo 2020 is Maskelyne’s Olympic debut.
“Maskelyne’s goal for these games is to swim better than her personal best of 2 minutes 15.55 seconds in the 200 breaststroke and be the top Pacific Islander at the Games.
“He took part in the Australian trials in June in Adelaide but missed getting a qualifying time.
“He attends the Games on the basis of the Olympic Committee’s universality program which allows a male and female athlete from any country competing in the world to participate.
“Maskelyne is currently the highest ranked swimmer in PNG.
Maskelyne said that “to participate in the Olympics is an unreal achievement and something that makes me incredibly humble.
“Considering the circumstances of these Olympics and the fact that they were almost canceled several times, I think that makes these games even more special and unique.
“I am honored and proud to be able to represent Papua New Guinea on the biggest stage in the world.”
Photo (Olympic Committee PNG)