Ak Fauzi Pg Salleh
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE Singapore swim team are ready to make a big splash at this Friday’s 41st South East Asian Age Group (SEAAG) Swimming Championships.
The 67-athlete contingent led by team manager Lim Boon San arrived at the Brunei International Airport in Berakas earlier today.
The team from Lion City are looking to at least replicate their haul of 18 gold, 15 silver and 21 bronze medals from the previous edition in Thailand last year.
"We are trying to equal the record that we achieved last year and it will be a bonus to better it," said Lim in an interview with BruSports News.
"All swimmers here today are from different clubs in Singapore, they are selected by the coaches and have been training since the selection in March.
"Before coming here, all the selected swimmers went through some clinics and special training at the NTC (National Training Centre)," he added.
The manager named last year's champions Vietnam and Thailand as their main challengers in this year's edition of the tournament.
Vietnam clinched the title after amassing 39 gold, 39 silver and 27 bronze medals. On the other hand, Thailand placed fourth in the nine-country table with 17 gold, 21 silver and 29 bronze medals.
"Vietnam have always been the strongest team in this region and Thailand are the other country that produced strong swimmers," said Lim.
"But I feel that we need to watch out for Malaysia too as they have went through some changes in their team, they might surprise us.
"What we are trying to do now in Singapore is to groom a new generation of young swimmers.
"Most of these swimmers are from the second and third tiers, and we are giving them this opportunity to represent Singapore, and what I want them to do is to improve their PB's (personal best records) and as well as to enjoy their time," concluded Lim.
A total of 235 swimmers from nine ASEAN countries will be vying for top honours at the three-day tournament held at the National Aquatics Centre of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.
This year's 41st SEAAG Swimming Championships also serve as a qualifier for the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires.