Monday, 18 July 2016

My first University Games

-by Keith Lim, 19

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.

Team MAS

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

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