SINGAPORE-based Lim Ching Hwang proved that qualifying for the Barcelona World Championships last month was no fluke when he once again dipped under the 'B' qualifying time in the 200m freestyle on the final day of the National Age-Group Championships yesterday.
Competing in the boys' under-18 category, the Selangor swimmer clocked 1:51.83 seconds to take gold ahead of Sarawak duo Welson Sim, who managed 1:55.00s, and Vernon Lee (1:56.01s) at the National Aquatics Complex in Bukit Jalil.
Ching Hwang's performance also saw him erase the old meet record of 1:52.68s which he had set at the championships last year.
The Singapore Sports School student had already qualified for the World Championships when he won gold at the Singapore National Age-Group Championships last month in 1:50.42s, bettering the 'B' qualifying mark of 1:52.21s.
The 17-year-old again proved to be the standout performer on the day when he also won the 50m freestyle gold in 23.82s and anchored Selangor to the 4x100m gold in a meet record time.
Together with Shaun Yap, Wong Tzi Rok and Chan Jie, the quartet clocked 3:54.29s to shear five seconds off the old mark of 3:59.89s set by Hong Kong last year.
Hong Kong (Lau Shiu Yue, Kwok Ka Fai, Ho Tin Long, Tony Leung) had to settle for silver in 3:55.54s while Sarawak's Alex Tiong, Tan Choon Hoe, Vernon Lee and Welson Sim took bronze in 4:08.35s.
Ching Hwang said he was delighted to do well in the individual events but stressed that being part of Selangor's winning relay team was even more meaningful.
"I felt a bit tired as we have been racing for three days and I have also been continuing with my normal training during this competition. But it has been a good day for me in terms of results.
"It's great to win the 50m and 200m freestyle but to help Selangor get the relay gold in record time means a lot to me.
"It does not matter if I am swimming for Selangor or Malaysia (in the relay).
"There is always a sense of importance and prestige when it comes to relays and I am honoured to be able to do my part."
Meanwhile, Selangor's Shaun Yap did well to break the old meet record of 1:06.67s set by Federal Territories' Ian James Barr last year in the boys' under-18 100m breastroke.
He clocked 1:03.39s to take gold ahead of Hong Kong's Kwok Ka Fai (1:06.00s) and Ian who managed 1:06.31s for the bronze. The result, however, was not enough to see him meet the World Championships 'B' time of 1:02.99s.
Shaun had on Saturday qualified for the World Championships in the 50m breaststroke when he set a national record of 28.69s en route to winning the event.
Hong Kong emerged overall champions with 43 gold, 36 silver and 32 bronze, while Selangor finished second with 28 gold, 38 silver and 27 bronze. Sarawak (26-20-22) were third.