PETALING JAYA: It’s the time of the year when athletes go on a break, especially those coming off a year-end assignment.
But for national swimming coach Chris Martin, the holiday period is also the best time to get cracking.
“We went back to work right after the day we arrived home from the Philippines SEA Games, ” he said. “There was no break for the swimmers as they had one session the next day.
“As far as I am concerned, I can say that these two weeks after the SEA Games were the best training time I had since I started in April.
“I don’t have to worry about missing swimmers because of classes and other things. It is the holidays, they are all here and I have taken the opportunity to put in as much work as I want with them.
“They know where they stand compared with others in the region and we should be working from now if they want to do well at the next SEA Games in two years, ” said the American coach, who has previously worked with US and Scotland national swimming teams.
“I know the Vietnam swimming team never stopped training. They went for a training camp in Florida right after the 2017 SEA Games and look at what they achieved in the recent Games, ” added Martin.
The swimming team were one of the biggest contributors to Vietnam’s medal haul in the Philippines with 10 golds. Their swimming star Nguyen Thi Anh Vien was named the best athlete of the Games after winning six golds and two silvers.
There are about a dozen swimmers, including Welson Sim (pic), under the national training set-up in Bukit Jalil and Martin is hoping to get more drafted in by March.
“We definitely need to focus on the younger swimmers. That’s where the future lies.”
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