KUCHING: Sarawak Sukma XV swimmers performed creditably at the 55th Milo/PRAM Malaysian Open Swimming Championship at the National Aquatics Centre in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur last weekend by winning one gold, three silver and three bronze medals.
This result was quite encouraging considering the fact that the state’s 14-member team were competing with strong teams from India, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, Botswana as well as Sabah, Kuala Lumpur, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang and Johor.
National swimmer Erika Kong, who represented Amateur Swimming Association of Sarawak, was the best performer with one gold and a silver.
Erika won the women’s 400m Individual Medley in a time of 5:00.62, beating Indonesia Swimming Federation’s Ressa Karniadewi (5:04.06) and Yessy Yosaputera (5:09.27) into second and third place respectively.
Another Sarawakian Angela Chieng finished in fourth place with a time of 5:15.52
Erika’s silver came from the women’s 200m Individual Medley race where she clocked a time of 2:22.97 to finish behind Samantha Yeo of Singapore whose time was 2:21.70.
Sarawak’s other two silver medals were delivered by another national swimmer Vernon Lee Jeau Zhi in the men’s 400m freestyle (4:00.15) and men’s 1,500m freestyle (15:51.27).
Meanwhile, the quartet of Nita Wong, Hii Siew Siew, Grace Yii and Angela Chieng won the bronze in the women’s 4x200m relay and Sarawak won the bronze in the men’s 4x100m relay through Vernon Lee, Tang Chong Heng, Alex Tiong and Welson Sim.
The other bronze medal was won by Alex Tiong in the men’s 400m Individual Medley with a time of 4:43.13.
Sarawak were placed in 10th position while Indonesia Swimming Federation were the biggest winners with 14 golds, 13 silvers and seven bronzes, with India Swimming Federation coming second with six golds, two silvers and four bronzes.
In third place were Singapore Swimming Association whose swimmers bagged four golds, two silvers and three bronzes.
Fourth to ninth positions were occupied by Hong Kong Swimming (4-1-5), Sabah (3-1-0), Kuala Lumpur (2-1-3), Australia Swimming Association (2-1-2), Perak (2-0-0) and Selangor (1-5-7).
This exposure outing at the championship by the state swimmers is also part of the preparations for Sukma XV in Kuantan, Pahang from July 7-16.
As the results showed, Sarawak swimmers now know where they stand in Sukma XV, with the stiffest competition to come from Sabah, Kuala Lumpur, Perak and Selangor.