Sport: PNG swimmer in top form as Olympics near
PNG's Ryan Pini in top form in the countdown to the Rio Olympics.
The veteran Papua New Guinea swimmer Ryan Pini is in the form of his life just months out from the Olympics and says no one is more shocked than himself.
The 34 year old retired after the 2012 Olympics in London but returned to the pool to compete at last year's Pacific Games in Port Moresby, where he won seven gold medals.
He has since qualified for three events in Rio and told Vinnie Wylie he's looking forward to his fourth and final Olympic campaign.
RYAN PINI: I'm swimming life-time personal bests in quite a few events so that's a very good indication of where I'm at. 100 butterfly is my main event and that one was just a little slower than what I want it to be so still working on that at the moment and the next couple of weeks will sort of give us a good idea of where we're at and what last little changes I can do.
VINNIE WYLIE: At you age, which in swimming terms is getting on, dare I say, does it surprise you that you can still push those personal best sort of times?
RP: Yeah it absolutely does. I hit the wall and look at the time and nearly shake my head in disbelief because the amount of training that I have done previously, in my life before as a younger swimmer, as compared to now is nothing in comparison so just wonder what it is that leads to or contributes to all that but I've got a very well-rounded life and a wealth of experience that I've got that I know what I can do and what I can't do and how all that works so I think that plays into a big part of my success at the moment.
VW: Last year, during the Pacific Games and leading up to it, you were based back in PNG and that was obviously a massive thing for yourself and for the country. Now you are back in Australia but familiar surroundings I guess as well for you?
RP: It was something I had to do to give myself - not so much the facilities because we've got great facilities there - but it's the coaching and the level of athletes that I swim against here pushes me along so up in PNG at the moment it was very difficult for me to train - it was pretty much myself and two other guys - so it makes a big difference for me coming here and I've got a lot of people behind me helping me on my journey.
VW: So you qualified for three events - the 100m fly being the main one. Are you still looking to compete in all of those or have you made a decision on that yet?
RP: Not completely yet. We do have another swimmer who equalled the 'B' qualifying time in the 100m freestyle so I think if he was to be selected on that I would give him that position in the 100m freestyle so that gives us a stronger team than we have had before - having two qualified swimmers - but the 100m backstroke I will definitely do, that is the second day of competition and the 100m butterfly is towards the end so there's plenty of time in between to rest up and get ready for it.
VW: Off the back of the Pacific Games and a lot of good performances there - not just in swimming but other sports - what would be a good finish for some of your top athletes?
RP: Making those final rounds or I think making it through to the next round I think for some of those sports, I think that would be a very good step for them is to progress through the rounds there. For me, I would love to be able to make a semi final again and I believe I can do it. It just comes down to that one day you've got to put on everything so it's going to be a very intense couple of weeks.
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