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Tuesday 23 March 2010 | Published in Regional


The Cook Islands Aquatic Federation’s (CIAF) four-member swim team rubbed shoulders with some of the world’s best swimmers when they attended the Lique Caledonienne de Nationals meet in mid-February.

The event at the new Olympic-size pool in New Caledonia attracted teams from Fiji, Tahiti, New Caledonia and the top 8 clubs from France, competing for the first time.

The Cook Islands was represented by 17-year old Tepaia Payne (son of Kate Payne and grandson of Albie Westrupp), Petero Okotai, and swimming siblings Aaron (18) and Celeste Brown (15). The group was accompanied by team manager Lisa Iro.

CIAF president Romani Katoa, says that the event was the first international meet that Celeste (15), Tepaia (17), Aaron (18) have attended and all have shown incredible promise for the future of Cook Islands swimming.

“The participation of these young ones has certainly been an eye opener,” says Romani.

“Although no medals were won, the team have certainly started making their mark in the swimming world.”

The local swimmers competed in the freestyle and butterfly swimming disciplines registering credible times against some top international swimmers.

The team will now use their international experience to prepare for the Oceania Swimming Championships in Samoa followed and the youth Olympic Games in Singapore later this year.

The Cook Islands Aquatics Federation would like to congratulate these swimmers on their remarkable achievements.

CIAF would like to send out a big meitaki maata to the Ligue Caledonienne de Natation, Alice Brown, Brin and Kate Payne, Ian Bertram, Hinano Ellis and Ben Ponia for hosting the Cook Islands team in Noumea.

Results (men’s 100m freestyle) 30 competitors–12th Tepaia Payne 1.01.39, 16th Aaron Brown 1.02.00, (men’s 200m freestyle) 18 competitors–12th Tepaia Payne 2.18.25, (men’s 50m fly) 39 competitors–25th Tepaia Payne 30.90, 26th Aaron Brown 31.03, 27th Petero Okotai 31.04, (men’s 50m fly) 39 competitors–9th Petero Okotai 35.49, (mens’ 50m freestyle) 39 competitors–20th Aaron Brown 27.81, 24th Tepaia Payne 28.20, (women’s 50m freestyle) 39 competitors–18th Celeste Brown 31.38, (women’s 100m freestyle) 29 competitors–17th Celeste Brown 1.10.87, (women’s 50m fly) 20 competitors–15th Celeste Brown 35.96.