|Lofty target : Lim Ching Hwang of Selangor aims to dethrone Daniel Bego as the fastest swimmer in Malaysia|
And the 16-year-old indicated his intention to end Daniel’s reign as the country’s No. 1 sprinter in the pool by smashing the five-year-old meet record in the 100m freestyle at the National Age-Group Swimming Championships at the National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
Despite not at his best, Ching Hwang powered his way to an impressive 51.04, breaking former national swimmer Foo Jian Beng’s previous meet record of 51.89 in the boys’ Group 2 (15-17).
He competed in the Singapore National Age-Group Champi–onships two weeks ago and admitted that he was tired after competing in two meets in one month.
Ching Hwang, who trains and studies at the Singapore Sports School, is optimistic he can smash Daniel’s mark in his pet races. Daniel, the 2009 Laos SEA Games five-gold medallist, is holding six individual national records.
Ching Hwang’s personal bests of 50.87 and 1:50.42 are not far off Daniel’s national record of 49.22 and 1:49.22 for the 100m and 200m freetyle respectively.
Ching Hwang’s times, clocked at the Singapore meet, saw him securing a place in the World Championships in Barcelona in July and the Myanmar SEA Games in Singapore in December.
“Yes, I would love to break Daniel’s records. But it’s not only his records I am eyeing. I would like to go further, not just to feel satisfied by creating new national marks,” said Ching Hwang, who is aiming to be the first Malaysian swimmer to bag a medal in the Asian Youth Games (AYG) in Nanjing in August.
For Ching Hwang, he is opting to compete in the AYG, which is for athletes from the 15-17 age-group, instead of the World Championships.
He stands a good chance of glory in Nanjing as his 100m freestyle time is faster than the silver medal effort of 51.28 from the previous AYG in Singapore. Then, the winner clocked 50.48. Ching Hwang’s time in the 200m freestyle (1:50.42) is also much faster than the gold medal winning time of 1:52.22.
“I will probably give up my chance to make my World Championships debut. The world meet can wait but not the AYG because I will not be eligible to compete in the future. It’s once in a lifetime opportunity and I really think I have a chance to win a medal there,” said Ching Hwang.