Sunday, 12 November 2017

Borneo Bulletin : Strong start for Vietnam in Southeast Asia Age Groups meet

By Fadhil Yunus

VIETNAM is currently leading the race in the overall medal standings following the completion of day one of the 41st Southeast Asian Age Groups Swimming Championships at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex Swimming Pool yesterday.

The defending champion is leading the race with a commendable haul of 15 gold, 12 silver and three bronze ahead of Indonesia which is a distant second with nine gold, seven silver and four bronze while Thailand sat in third place with four gold, eight silver and 12 bronze. Vietnam created further distance in the race for overall champion after winning both of the freestyle relays in the boys’ and girls’ events which marked the conclusion of day one.

Vietnam’s quartet of Man Dat Huynh, Hung Nguyen Tran, Huu Kim Son Nguyen and Dinh Chuyen Ngo clinched the Boys’ 18 and Under 4x200m freestyle while the quartet of Thi Linh Mai, Ngoc Thi Tran, Ngoc Que Tran Do and Thi Phuong Anh Vu won the girls’ race.

Malaysia is fourth in the standings with three gold, one silver and four bronze while Singapore took fifth spot with two gold, seven silver and seven bronze with the Philippines in sixth place with two gold, one silver and four bronze.

A total of seven personal bests were recorded by the Brunei Darussalam’s national swimmers who were performing on home soil.

Dylan Chua Chen Yee broke his seed time of 33.83s with a revised time of 33.47s in the boys’ 16-18 50 LC Metre Breaststroke event while Emma Yusuf set a sub-40 second mark in the Girls 13 and Under LC Meter Breaststroke with a time of 39.75s, eclipsing her old mark of 40.67s in the process.

Natasha Sia sets a new personal best in the Girls 14-15 100 LC Metre Backstroke with a time of 1:20.67s eclipsing her old time of 1:23.33s.

The Boys’ 18 and under 4x200m freestyle relay winners in a group picture

The Girls’ 18 and under 4x200m freestyle relay winners in a group picture. – PHOTOS: FADHIL YUNUS

Chan Zeke, the youngest member in the team, shaded his old mark of 1:21.98s with a new time of 1:21.77s in the Boys 13 and Under 100 LC Metre Backstroke and set a new personal best of 1:16.83s in the Boys 13 and Under 100 LC Metre Butterfly.

Ashley Chai also dipped below the 30-second barrier in the Girls 16-18 50 LC Metre Freestyle after recording a time of 29.63, besting her old mark of 30.04s.

Andra Chai also set a new personal best after clocking a time of 1:21.21s erasing her old mark of 1:22.30s in the Girls 13 and Under 100 LC Metre Backstroke.

It was a day of history for a number of regional swimmers as four new SEA Age Groups records were set as well as one equalled championship record.

Vietnam’s Huu Kim Son Nguyen sets a new SEA Age Group record after clocking a time of 2:06.47s, surpassing a five-year record of 2:06.50s previously set by his compatriot Tran Duy Khoi in June 2012.

Vietnam’s Ngoc Thi Tran also set a new SEA Age Groups record after recording a time of 1:02.29s besting her fellow compatriot Nguyen Diep Phuong Tram mark of 1:02.33s which she set in December 2015.

Thailand’s Chermas Kao Wiriyawattana was also part of the record-breaking winners after setting a new time of 1:06.52s in the Girls 13 and Under 100 LC Metre Backstroke, eclipsing Indonesia’s Olivia Fernandez’s seven-year record of 1:07.38 she sets in June 2010.

Vietnam’s Huu Kim Son Nguyen was part of the trio from his nation who accomplished a championship record after setting a new time of 3:56.46s in the Boys 14-15 400 LC Metre Freestyle, eclipsing the old mark of 4:01.01s set by his compatriot Hoang Nguyen Huy in December 2015.

Indonesia’s Adinda Larasati Dewi equalled the championship record in the Girls 16-18 100m butterfly previously set by Thailand’s Sapianchai Kornkarnjana with a time of 1:01.94 in December 2015.

Vietnam accomplished 39 gold medals during the previous edition in Bangkok two years ago and team manager Dinh Viet Hung will be looking to get one better or more.

Dinh was pleased to win both relay events and identified Singapore as a strong team in the relay events.

“I saw the Singapore team and they sent a very young team. And there were new faces,” said Dinh in an interview with the Weekend Bulletin.

“Tomorrow I hope that the team will continue their good lead. We attained 39 gold in Bangkok and we try to aim for 40 in this championships,” continued the team manager.

He also added that three or four swimmers from the team are capable to meet the qualifying mark which is eligible in the tournament, for the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina next year.

A total of 27 swimmers have been selected for the team including 15 male and 12 male with Dinh adding that the youngest member from the Vietnamese team is aged 13 years.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s Robert Martin was pleased with his win in the boys 16-18 50m freestyle despite not setting his fastest time in his first international competition in Brunei.

“I really enjoyed it. The facilities here are very good. The people here are very nice,” said the 16-year old.

“I’m okay with my time. It’s not my personal best time but it’s okay,” continued Robert in his only race.

A total of 235 swimmers and nine countries are vying for top honours in the three-day meet.

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