Yee Chun Leong
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
VIETNAM opened their title defence at the 41st SEA Age Group Swimming Championships by winning 15 of the 35 gold medals on offer today.
The 27-athlete team also clinched 12 silver and three bronze medals to sit comfortably at the top of the nine-country standings after the opening day at the National Aquatics Centre of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas.
Indonesia are their closest contenders with nine gold, seven silver and four bronze medals.
Thailand round off the top-three with their haul of four gold, eight silver and 12 bronze medals.
Vietnam manager Dinh Viet Hung believes that they have a good chance of finishing top of the table once again.
“I think we can defend the title but this year the team is a little bit weaker,” said Viet Hung in an interview with BruSports News.
“Just a little bit as some swimmers have grown up and moved up (to the open category). As for today, I’m happy with the team’s performance,” he added.
Malaysia are currently in fourth position with three gold, one silver and four bronze medals.
Singapore follow with two gold, seven silver and seven bronze while the Philippines are the other only other country to get in the win column thus far with two gold, one silver and four bronze.
Vietnam claimed the title in the previous edition in Bangkok last year after bagging 39 gold, 39 silver and 27 bronze medals.
Vietnam’s swimmers who ruled the pool
Nguyen Huu Kim Son was the best performer for Vietnam after finishing top of the podium in the boys’ 14-15 400m freestyle and 200m Inter Medley events - setting new SEA AG records for both.
He clocked a time of 3:56.46 in the former to beat Nguyen Huy Hoang’s old time of 4:01.01.
He then completed the 200m IM event with a time of 2:06.47 beating the old record by 0.03 seconds by his compatriot Tran Duy Khoi from June 2012.
Nguyen Huy Hoang also delivered two gold medals after winning the boys’ 18 & under 400m freestyle (3:56.81s) and 200m IM (2:06.56) events.
Both swimmers were also part of the team that won gold in the mixed 18 & under 4x100m freestyle relay and the boys’ 18 & under 4x200m freestyle relay events.
Tran Ngoc Thi produced a new record in the girls’ 14-15 100m butterfly event with a time of 1:02.29 - going 0.04s faster than Nguyen Diep Phuong Tram’s time from Dec 2015.
She clinched another gold medal from the 50m freestyle event with a time of 26.95s.
Vu Thi Phuong Anh was the other double individual gold winner for Vietnam after winning the girls’ 16-18 50m breaststroke (33.29s) and 200m IM (2:20.38) events.
The other individual gold medals for Vietnam came from Bui Huu Hieu (boys’ 13 & Under 400m freestyle), Do Ngoc Que Tran (girls’ 13 & under 400m freestyle), Diep Phuong Tram (girls’ 16-18 100m backstroke) and Le Hoang Bao Ngoc (girls 13 & under 100m butterfly) before they capped off the opening day by winning the girls’ 18 & under 4x200m freestyle relay with a time of 8:32.58.
Other SEA AG records that were broken
- Thailand’s Chermas Kao Wiriyattana set a new record in the girls 13 & under 100m backstroke event on 1:06.52. It beat the old time of 1:07.38 by Indonesia’s Olivia Fernandez produced back in 2010.
- Azzahra Permathani of Indonesia swam a time of 2:20.85 in the girls 14-15 200m IM to smash the old record of 2:22.05 by Ang Vien Nguyen Thi from June 2011.
- Thailand’s Kamonchanok Kwanmuang produced a time of 2:23.40 in the girls 13 & under 200m IM to beat Sarisa Suwannachet’s time by 0.25s from June 2010.
- Indonesia’s Adinda Larasati Dewi equalled the record by Sapianchai Kornkarnjana of Thailand in the girls’ 16-18 100m butterfly event with a time of 1:01.94.
Brunei swimmers set new personal bests
- Zeke Chan (boys’ 13 & under)
100m backstroke - 1:21.77 (previous best 1:21.98)
100m butterfly - 1:16.83 (previous best 1:21.51)
- Ashley Chai (girls’ 16-18)
50m freestyle - 29.63s (previous best 30.04s)
- Andra Chai (girls’ 13 & under)
100m backstroke - 1:21.21 (previous best 1:22.30)
- Dylan Chua (boys’ 16-18)
50m breaststroke - 33.47s (previous best 33.83s)
- Natasha Sia (girls’ 14-15)
100m backstroke 1:20.67 (previous best 1:23.33)
- Emma Yusuf (girls’ 13 & under)
50m breaststroke 39.75s (previous best 40.67s)