Picture Caption: Twelve year-old Noel Keane of Palau, competing against the Solomon Islands' Albert Kado and Clayment Bill Lafiara in heat one of the 100m freestyle yesterday at the Taurama Aquatic Centre. Although he won the heat, his time of 1:06.86 was not enough to qualify for the next stage.

Story: Twelve-year old Noel Keane from Palau is a promising swimmer unearthed at the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby.

Keane is a member of the five man swimming team from the small Pacific Island state taking part in the competition at the Taurama Aquatic Centre.

Being the youngest swimmer in the squad, along with his teammate, Ikelau Misech, Keane is enjoying every bit of the moment at the new-look swimming venue for the Pacific Games.

"I am enjoying my time in the pool here" Keane said.

Though he beat his only two other opponents from Salomon Islands - Albert Kado and Clayment Bill Lafiara in 100m freestyle in Heat One - his time of 1.06.86 was not enough to propel him into the finals of the event.

As the youngest swimmer, Keane has won many hearts for his courage in taking on big fish in the likes of Stephane Debaere of Tahiti, Ryan Pini of PNG, Hugi Lambert of Tahiti and Emmauel Lumosin of New Caledonia.

The National caught up with the young pool prodigy posing fro photograph with his fans, and he said he was looking forward to the 2019 Pacific Games in Tonga.

"I am just excited about being here - meeting many new friends in the swimming pool and rubbing shoulders with some of the big names in swimming in the region," he said,

Kado, of Solomon Islands, is 39 years old - making him the oldest swimmer in this swimming competition.

The other older swimmer facing possible retirement after the games are Fijian Caroline Puamau (35), Pini (33), and Tahitian Rainui Trripaia-Rentier (31).

source: The National


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