Sunday, 21 April 2013

The Star : Youngster Shaun shatters own national record

KUALA LUMPUR: Shaun Yap Kah Choon of Selangor rocked the National Aquatic Centre yesterday when he smashed his own national 50m breaststroke record at the National Age-Group Swimming Championships in Bukit Jalil yesterday. The 17-year-old clocked a blistering 28.69 in the boys’ 15-17 category to book a debut appearance in the World Championships in Barcelona in July.

Johor’s Ng Wei Zheng took the silver in 30.09 while Selangor’s Ng Shijie clocked 30.22 to clinch the bronze.

It was the second time Shaun had shattered the national record. At the Selangor Age-Group Championships in February this year, he stopped the clock at 29.12 to erase Yap See Tuan’s mark of 29.46.

Shaun, who has been training under national coach Paul Birmingham since December last year, was elated to secure a berth to the World Championships.

“I swam really well today. It feels good to qualify for my first World Championships and to bring down my personal best,” said Shaun, who grabbed his first Sukma gold medal in the discipline in Kuantan last year.

“I really owe my performances here to all the coaches who have trained me over the years ... coaches like Paul Birmingham and Selangor coaches Ong Jin Kooi as well as Mark and Marilyn Chua have made me who I’m today.”

The Help Academy student still has some unfinished business to attend to on the final day of competition today.

“The breastroke is my favourite discipline and I hope to also qualify for the World Championship in the 100m breastroke tomorrow.

“My dream is to make it to the Olympics in Brazil in 2016,” said Shaun, who scored 8As in his SPM examination last year.

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