SIBU: Three days of unrelenting competition at the Sibu Age Group Swimming Competition ended at the Bukit Lima Swimming Pool here with 34 new records created.
Flamboyant Alex Tiong Sie Hung from Boys’ A and fast rising star Nee Gui Ping from Boys’ C contributed 11 apiece.
Both featured in all the 18 events in their respective categories.
Seventeen-year-old Alex from SMK Sacred Heart collected 14 gold and two silver medals to emerge best swimmer in the Boys’ A category.
Gui Ping, providing an indication of more glory to come in future championships, brought home 15 gold and one silver medals to lift the best swimmer title in Boys’ C.
The 13-year-old student from SMK Chung Hua has been described as a rare jewel, and, given more exposure, he promises to further build on his reputation in the state or even national swimming arena in the next few years.
Ngu Jiung Wei from SMK Chung Hua chalked up four records to win the best swimmer title in Boys’ B while Lau Teck Lung from SJK Chung Hua, with nine gold medals, was judged the best swimmer in Boys’ D.
In the Girls’ section, Nita Wong Zhi Yi from SM Catholic High took 12 gold medals to claim the Girl’s A best swimmer award.
Nita may not have broken any record but it should be noted that most of the records for the Girls’ A record were established by national swimmer Hii Siew Siew.
Cindy Sui from SMK Methodist was adjudged the best swimmer in Girl’s B when she garnered an incredible 16 gold medals out of 16 events she contested.
En route, she smashed two records.
In Girls’ C, SMK Chung Hua’s Wong Ho Lun was the best swimmer with 10 gold and one silver medals while Angel Lau Xin Yee from SJK Tung Hua won the title in Girls’ D with eight gold and two silver medals.
For the championship as a whole, Sibu Amateur Swimming Association (SASA) chief coach Hii Hieng Chiong cautioned against reading too much into the 34 records as 22 were broken by Alex and Gui Ping.
Hii wanted to send a strong signal that the talent pool was still too limited to sustain the legacy of past Sibu swimmers.
“The sign is not at all encouraging. With the exception of Alex and Gui Ping, there is nothing much for SASA to feature. SASA needs to work harder if we want to rule the pool and be champions,” he warned.
Hii called on parents to encourage their children to take up swimming which he said was one of the healthy sports that not only helped shape one’s character but build a strong body.
Meanwhile, SASA gave out RM30,275 as incentives to 25 outstanding swimmers who achieved excellent results in 2012.
These swimmers included those who had performed well in both state- and national-level meets.