Recently, I’ve participated in the 18th Asean University Games 2016 held at the prestigious OCBC Aquatic Centre in Singapore. I was excited to go to the meet not only because it was my first experience at a varsity meet but also because most of my swim mates were in the same team proudly representing Malaysia.
There was a little anxiety in me as I have not competed for a while. We crossed the border 2 days earlier before the competition and my coach advised me to continue training instead despite the immediate race confronting me as I have another more important competition very soon, the SUKMA XVIII in Sarawak.
Prior to the start of the meet, I wasn’t feeling too good in the water. So during the 2 prep days, I swam more distance than I usually would in my regular training to get a better feel in the water. Still, I had all the doubts running in my mind; I hesitated if I had trained enough for this meet or if I would have the slightest luck to improve on my PBs.
On the first day of the meet, I had an important event for me. Important because it is my pet event - 100m freestyle. I suddenly felt intimidated seeing my opponents who were much faster, older and obviously more experienced than me. I kept reminding myself to keep my mind clear because if I didn’t, I know it was going to affect my race adversely.
But guess what? I swam with my hardest kick ever and slashed my PB from a 51.2s down to a 50.7s to my own astonishment, grabbing a silver for that event which I never thought would be within my reach. I was so happy with my result, it immediately boosted the confidence I needed to complete my remaining events for the next few days.
|The scoreboard showing all 3 top positions milliseconds away|
At the end of meet, I improved all of my freestyle events and got 1 gold, 3 silvers and 2 bronze from all of the events I swam. A fruitful trip indeed, and I couldn’t have done it without the support from my friends, family, team mates and especially my coach, Mr Birmingham.
Now, I learned that it is of utmost importance to have strong mentality during competitions. I learned what my weaknesses were and confronted it with my absolute best. If you think you can do it, then you can!
Remember to always give your best during a race because, hey, you can’t go wrong with giving all you’ve got, right?
|Medal presentation for 100m freestyle where I (left) earned my silver|
|Proud golden relay moments for 4x200m freestyle|
|Together with my peers, we grabbed gold in our relays. From left , Zhen Yang, Kevin, myself and Wei Tze|
|Winning silver for 4x100m free relay with team mates Zhen Yang, Daniel Bego and Wei Tze|
* photos credit to Ms Sow Yee