Tuesday, 23 May 2017

7th Asian Open Water Swimming Championships 2017 - a whole new experience for Jun Bin

Wong Jun Bin, an IBSC member was put on a gruesome testing water condition, but his time it was not in the clear cooling swimming pool.

Jun Bin was selected to participate in the 10km swim event in the 7th Asian Open Water Swimming Championships 2017, which took place last weekend on 19-21 May 2017 at Putrajaya Lake. Alongside with him were other national swimmers, Welson Sim, Vernon Lee, Kevin Yeap and Angela Chieng, who tested themselves for potential selection to SEA Games Kuala Lumpur 2017, which is to be held at the same venue.

Jun Bin, (far left), with team MAS and fellow trainees, Welson Sim, Vernon Lee and Kevin Yeap

The AASF (Asian Amateur Swimming Federation) open water event  was organised by ASUM (Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia) for the first time in Malaysia and has attracted 57 participants from 11 countries.

Albeit a first timer in open water, Jun Bin swam an impressive time of 2:14.41.8 in the 10km swim and was the 7th swimmer to emerge from the lake even though his timing was considered out of ranking as the medal contenders and ranked swimmers were confined to 2 participants per country as per the rules.

His compatriots ahead of him were Kevin Yeap who won bronze with a time of 2:10.57.5,  followed by Welson Sim who did 2:11.27.7 in 4th position overall. The 10km event was won by Kazakhstan swimmer, Vitalay with his golden time of 2:05.26.6 and the silver went to Taipei swimmer, Cho Cheng Chi (2:09.07.9).

Due to our local weather condition, the open water in Putrajaya Lake is not an easy route to swim as temperature in the lake can soar to above 30 degree Celsius, with the unforgiving hot sun. Some experienced swimmers from other countries could not withstand the exhausting condition and needed to be "fished" out by officials.

Jun Bin happy posing here with Kevin 

Jun Bin was happy with his results and shared with IBSC his feelings.

"I didn't have any previous experience in such a long-distance race, so my aim was just to complete the swim. Being placed top 8 is really a bonus to me.
This open water race is totally different from what I usually do in a swimming pool.  Other than focusing on technique and working hard, you have to be aware of the direction you are swimming and also be wary of the competitors around you.
I struggled a little with some loss sense of direction initially because the water wasn't as clear as the pool water and I ended swimming side to side. But I think with more practice, I hope to get better in future."

IBSC is proud to share Jun Bin's achievement.

Meanwhile for the women's category,  Heidi Gan, MAS national distance swimmer who is based in Perth, won the women 10km swim with a time of 2:17.00.7. Heidi also won bronze on Friday's 5km event competed on 19 May 2017.

The second and third placings went to Kazakhstan and Thailand respectively.

We congratulate all winners.

   * photos courtesy of Ms Elaine Choo

Swimmers getting ready  to plunge in

Jun Bin can still manage a thumb up after his swim

Jun Bin being handed a bottle of water to quench his thirst

The MAS team resting under MILO tent and being advised by national coach Mr Paul Birmingham

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