KUALA LUMPUR: One doesn’t need to train with the national team to be excellent.
Selangor swimmer Ng Jing Fu proved just that when he smashed a three-year national record in the 100m breaststroke at the Malaysian Open swimming championships at the National Aquatics Centre in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
The 18-year-old finished with a time of 1:02.34, breaking the previous record of 1:02.47 held by Wong Fu Kang which was also set at the Malaysian Open in 2015.
However, Jing Fu’s impressive display was not enough for him to win the gold as he finished second behind India’s S. P. Likith who set a time of 1:02.02.
In third for the bronze medal was Jing Fu’s state teammate Ng Yi Hao, who had a time of 1:05.50.
“I’ve signed a contract with the national team this year, but because the training time with the national team clashes with my studies I decided to continue training with the Selangor state team instead,” said Jing Fu.
“So to break the record feels very good because it shows that you don’t have to be in the national team to be the fastest, and I hope this will inspire those not in the national team.
“I was already eyeing to break the record earlier this month at the Singapore Age-Group meet but I couldn’t as my form was a bit off, but today I focused on my technique and it all worked out.”
It has been a tough year for Jing Fu, who has to balance his A-Level studies with swimming but he’s proving that that’s not impossible.
“It’s amazing for me and satisfying because all my hard work in trying to balance academics and sports has paid off.
“It’s a lot of sacrifice because I can’t spend a lot of time going out with my friends to the cinema and things like that. I’m always either in my studies, sleeping or training.”