The 2018 Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships have provided our Fiji swimmers with a rare opportunity to compete against and rub shoulders with some of the world’s best. In recent trends, majority of the medal winners at the Olympics and World Championships have, at one point in their early career, competed at a Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Champs.

The Championships are recognized as one of the world’s proven and consistent springboards of international success, and it is happening right here at the Suva Damodar City Aquatic Center.

It is likely that the medal winners and meet record set during day 1 of the championships will highly feature in future Olympics and World Championships.


So it is most likely that the medal winners and meet record set during day 1 of the championships will highly feature in future Olympics and World Championships.

Day 1 Recap

Drew Kibler set a meet record in the men’s 200-meter freestyle final with a time of 1:47.65 to headline the day one gold medalists.

Headlining Team Fiji as well was the qualifying of Temafa Yalimaiwai (2:14.04), Damien Kitione (2:27.44, PB) and Mosese Bobi’s (2:25.06) into the B Finals of the men’s 200m butterfly. All 3 respectively finished with an overall 12th, 13th and 14th 2018 Junior Pan Pacific ranking.


According to team Fiji coaching staff, William Domonatani, it was a first for Team Fiji and a definite improvement from past junior pan pacs.

“These Championships have been a definite eye opener. We get to learn from some of the best swimmers and coaches in the world, observing and sharing coaching methods, even observing swimmers’ routines.”

On the women’s side, team captain Rosemarie Rova (2:14.57), Rokowati Mara (2:25.77), Aimee Elaisa (2:28.78, PB), Joan McGowan (2:30.77, PB) and Evitah Yee (2:36.71) competed in the women’s 200m freestyle.

While Calum Lobendahn (2:08.03), Mosese Bobi (2:10.40, PB), Wilson Erasito (2:11.68, PB), James Kado (2:12.07), Jayzon Requina (2:12.42), Rhys Cheer (2:12.96), Jeremiah Faktaufon (2:20.55, PB) and Tolu Young (2:20.67, PB) competed in the men’s 200m freestyle.

USA showed why they were the world’s leading nation in swimming with their gold medals by Claire Tuggle in the women’s 200m free, Phoebe Bacon in the women’s 100m backstroke, Destin Lasco in the men’s 100m back, Olivia Carter in the women’s 200m butterfly, Gianluca Urlando in the men’s 200m fly and the 400m mixed medley relay team.


Other notable performances by team Fiji were the personal best achievements by Jodie Puamau (1:10.74), Jane Smith (1:14.19), Esther Gonerogo (1:20.68), Sam Yalimaiwai (1:07.95), Maivusaroko (1:08.08), Edward Vakatalai (1:09.30) and Sheldon Chow (1:13.36) in the women’s and men’s 200m backstroke.

Capping off day 1 was Fiji’s 2 brave representatives Hefu Erasito (18:29.64, PB) and James Kado (18:40.02) in the grueling men’s 1500m freestyle.

Day 2 – Prelims

Fiji’s proud achievement today was in the morning preliminaries where Thomas Liebregts and Sam Yalimaiwai swam in the men’s 100m breastroke. Both swimmers, clocked personal bests of 1:10.93 and 1:11.08 respectively, to qualify into the B finals in the evening.

Team Fiji clocked an impressive 20 personal bests in the morning prelims session and will be looking forward to better their performance for the finals tonight and the remainder of the championships.

At the end of session 3 Heats, the Fiji Swimming National Federation is also proud to announce that our venue and competition will also be stamped on World International Swimming books because of the games records that have been set at our pool.


Fiji Swimming is very proud to be able witness these swims at our home pool facility, because it also means that “Suva, Fiji” will be printed in the Games Records register, as per the following swims below:


Team Event Time Date
Drew Kibler United States Men 200 Free 1.47.65


Katharine Berkoff

United States Women 100 Back 59.59 23.08.2018
Gretchen Walsh United States Women 100 Free 54.47


Emily Weiss

United States Women 100 Breast 1.07.55 24.08.2018
P Bacon, D Roy, G United States Mixed 4 x 100 Medley 3.47.01


Urlando, G Walsh


As the Programme goes into Session 4, the swimmers from all the 11 participating countries are looking comfortably acclimated with the venue and the competition environment. We are looking forward to seeing more great swims in the pool, with more Junior Pan Pacs Games records, and possibly Junior World Records too.

Tomorrow continues with Day 3 of competition which will feature the 400m Freestyle, 100m Butterfly and 200m Backstroke. Sessions start at 9am and the Finals from 5pm.

Click here for results/schedule

Update: Fiji Swimming (24/08/2018)