Even with snow, Ipswich pair take on the world
HAVING snow to contend with after sweltering Ipswich conditions was far from what Greg Fasala and Ryan Maskelyne expected.
However, that was part of what Ipswich Grammar head coach Greg Fasala and IGS swimmer Ryan Maskelyne encountered at the latest world short course championships in Canada.
Representing Papua New Guinea, the duo arrived in Windsor to find an ice hockey rink converted into a 25m indoor heated pool.
Venturing outside showed why. It was minus 15 degrees and snowing.
However, former Olympic and Commonwealth Games freestyle sprinter Fasala enjoyed overseeing the seven-strong PNG team for the first time at such a high-level international meet.
"It was a tough gig, being world championships, so none of them made finals,'' Fasala said. "But it was a good experience for them.
"It was the biggest stage . . . fantastic.
"We got the team together, put together some goals and targets, which we all achieved. It was good.
"And there was a handful of them there that hadn't been to an international meet before and nearly half of them hadn't seen snow before.
"That was all an exciting thing for them.''
That included the IGS representative.
Maskelyne, preparing for year 12 in 2017, represented his country of birth again after previous competitions like the Youth Commonwealth Games and Pacific Games.
Against his toughest competition so far, he exceeded expectations by breaking PNG records in the 200m, 100m and 50m breaststroke under the watchful eye of his PNG and IGS coach.
"Ryan swam exceptionally well - PB'ed in all three of his events,'' Fasala said. "He was the swimmer of the PNG team for the meet.''
Fasala and Maskelyne will enjoy a break from training before focusing on their 2017 swimming goals at club and representative level.