IT was an exciting time for budding swimmers at the Klang Executive Club championships at the KEC pool recently.
The championships, organised with support from Milo, 100Plus and Madwave, attracted about 200 swimmers, divided into five categories — Group 1 (17 and below), Group 2 (14 and below), Group 3 (12 and below) , Group 4 (10 and below) and Group 5 (7 and below). Besides the individual events – freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly and medley, there were also relays for both boys and girls.
Organising chairman T. Kanniappan said the championships, held for the sixth year, was a platform to unearth new talents.
“We are delighted with the response. Some of the swimmers were impressive, setting new records,” he said.
The best among them was Chen Shin Ni. Representing KEC, she won seven gold medals and was named the Best Swimmer in the girls’ 12 and below age-group.
Shin Ni’s golds came in the 50m freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly, as well as the 100m freestyle and breaststroke and 200m individual medley.
Coach L.B. Lee was not surprised with Shin Ni’s results.
“She has progressed a lot in the past few months. She has the potential to improve even further and we are looking at her making the state team,’’ said Lee.
Rachel Lim Hui Hui also showed great form by winning six golds. She was named the Best Swimmer in the girls’ 17 and below age-group.
Rachel’s golds came in the 50m breaststroke and backstroke, 100m freestyle and breaststroke, 200m individual medley and relay.
Acmar International chairman Datuk Steven Tee, who handed out the prizes, said they were pleased with the support for the event.
“The presence of parents made the event a lively affair. It was also good to see the parents coming out to support their children and most of the participants are novices.
“They need competition to evaluate their progress and KEC is proud to play an active role in the development of swimmers at grassroots.
“We are looking at ways to make the championships more challenging and interesting, and one suggestion was to urn the championships into an inter-clubevent. But we have to study the proposal before making a final decision.
“Whatever the decision, it will be for the betterment of the swimmers,’’ said Tee.
Kanniappan said besides swimming, KEC also had development programmes for squash and badminton.
“We will be organising a racquets carnival, involving squash and badminton, later this month.
“This year, we are keen to invite juniors from other clubs in the Klang Valley for the carnival.
“Our trainees will get the chance to play against athletes from other clubs,’’ said Kanniappan.
He also commended the swimmers in the Under-10 age group for making an impact at the championships.
“Swimmers like Yap Yong Jie, Eunice Pua Jia Hui and Asley Chow Jia Qin have shown good potential and the coaches should give them more intensive training to encourage them,’’ added Kanniappan.
7 and below: Yap Yong Jie (4 golds)
10 and below: Ashley Sum (1 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze)
12 and below: Khoo Yee H’ng (4 golds)
14 and below: Jestin H’ng Ting Yuan
17 and below: Kok Ming Zhen (5 golds)
7 and below: Eunice Pua Jia Hui
10 and below: Asley Chow Jia Qin
12 and below: Chen Shin Ni (7 golds)
14 and below: Wong Xin Di (4 golds)
17 and below: Rachel Lim Hui Hui