Vietnam champion of SEA Age Group meet

|     Fadhil Yunus     |

VIETNAM emerged as overall champion of the 41st Southeast Asian Age Group Swimming Championship after bagging a total of 51 gold, 27 silver and 13 bronze at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex Swimming pool over a three-day period from November 10 to November 12.

The Vietnamese swimming team surpassed the 39-gold medal haul they bagged in Bangkok two years ago after a consistent and dominant performance throughout the competition.

Vietnam’s young talent Huu Kim Son Nguyen was a major factor after bagging 14 gold medals with nine of those coming from individual entries and five relays events as well as two silver medals.

The Vietnamese sensation has also accomplished a total of seven championship records illustrating a bright future for Vietnamese swimming in the coming years.

The Vietnamese star is also gearing up preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with the SEA Games in Manila, Philippines as well as the 42nd SEA AG to look forward to.

Indonesia, who also made history in Brunei with a number of championship records, claimed second place overall after collecting 19 gold, 24 silver and 14 bronze while Thailand settled for third place after accumulating 16 gold, 21 silver and 29 bronze.

A total of 13 championship records were set on the final day of the competition including 11 individual and two relays events.

Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Dato Paduka Haji Juanda bin Haji Abdul Rashid in a group picture as Vietnam team manager Dinh Viet Hung lifts the overall champion’s trophy. – FADHIL YUNUS

Meanwhile, a total of nine personal bests were set by the Brunei Darussalam national swimming team on the last day of the competition.

Natasha Sia sets a new personal best after clocking a time of 37.11s in the girls’ 14-15 50m backstroke beating her old mark of 39.39s and reduced her old mark of 1:10.73s with a new time of 1:09.04s in the girls 14-15 100m freestyle.

Andra Chai also trimmed her old time of 37.91s with a new time of 36.73s in the girls’ 13 and under 50m backstroke while Justin Lim lowered his old time of 39.38s with a new time of 36.82s in the boys 13 and under 50m backstroke.

Zeke Chan, the youngest member in the national swimming team, also shattered his old time of 1:12.89s with a time of 1:11.25s in the boys 13 and under 100m freestyle.

Emma Yusuf was also part of the group that sets new personal bests after clocking a time of 3:10.05s in the girls 13 and under 200m breaststroke, eclipsing her old time of 3:14.25s.

Justin Lim also sets a new personal best in the 50m freestyle with a time of 29.69s, bettering his old time of 31.64s with his compatriot Zeke Chan also setting a new personal best with a time of 31.92s, beating his previous time of 33.54s.

Breanna Lee Le Er shaved her old time of 33.09s with a new time of 32.70s in the girls 13 and under 50m freestyle.

Vietnam was awarded with the overall champion trophy while six best swimmers including three boys and three girls were feted in recognition of their achievements.

Vietnam’s Huy Hoang Nguyen was awarded as Best Boy in Group 1 after his exploits in the pool with a total of six gold medals with one of those marked as a championship record with Thi Phuong Anh Vu awarded as Best Girl after collecting five gold medals and two silver medals including a championship record.

Huu Kim Son was the most successful swimmer during the competition after bagging nine gold medals and two silver medals including seven championship records which earned him Best Boy award in Group 2.

Indonesia’s Azzahra Permatahani took the Best Girl award in Group 2 having enjoyed a successful campaign with seven gold medals to her name and one silver medal including two championship records.

Malaysia’s Darren Lew was awarded Best Boy in Group 3 after winning four gold medals and one bronze while Vietnam’s Ngoc Que Tran Do scooped Best Girl after collecting four gold medals and two silver medals.

Presenting the awards and championship trophy to the individual winners and overall champion was the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Affairs, Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Juanda bin Haji Abdul Rashid.