A day of records in the pool
RECORDS tumbled like ninepins in the short course age group championships held over the weekend at the Hong Kong Sports Institute, with six national marks and five age group times falling by the wayside.
Star woman swimmer Robyn Lamsam once again stole the limelight with record-breaking efforts in the only two events she entered - the 800 metres freestyle and the 100 metres individual medley.
Robyn, making her 800 m debut in a 25-metre pool, completed a clean sweep of all the women's freestyle records with a winning time of eight minutes and 58.13 seconds. Her effort shaved 21.04 sec off the old record held by Cosmo Saunders.
Robyn showed her versatility with a comprehensive victory in the 100 m individual medley, posting a time of 1:07.77 to clip 0.35 of a second off Katie Lau King-ting's mark.
Katie made up for her lost record by setting a new national mark in the 400 m individual medley, clocking 5:10.34 to improve the previous Hong Kong best of 5:13.53 held by Caroline Ng Ka-yan.
Caroline also shone at the gala, getting back into the record book when winning the 200 m backstroke in 2:25.87, clipping 0.80 of a second off the existing mark set by Lung En-ting two years ago.
The other two national records went to St Joseph's College pupil Billy Kwok Sze-wai and veteran Michael Wright, who turned 28 yesterday.
Billy, one of the rising stars among Hong Kong's male swimmers, won the 400 m individual medley in 4:41.21 to cut 1.92 sec off the long-standing record set by Arthur Li Kai-yien in 1989.
But the 15-year-old saw his 100 m individual medley record of 1:01.41 wrestled away by Wright, with a record-breaking time of 1:01.13.
Zachary Moffatt rewrote another Billy mark, setting a 200 m backstroke age group record with a time of 2:16.58. The previous best in the boys' 13 and 14 division was 2:17.65.
Michael Scott, also competing in the boys' 13 and 14 age group, clipped 3.54 seconds off the record in winning the 200 m breaststroke in 2:30.84.
The remaining three age group marks came from the girls, with the highly-promising Heidi Wong Hoi-tik winning the 100 m freestyle with a time of 1:02.39.
In the 13 and 14 years division, Mandy Cheung Man-yiu and Kristina Koehler set records for the 200 m breaststroke and 200 m backstroke events respectively.
Ten-year-old Ayumi Niishio made a memorable Hong Kong debut by winning all three events in the boys' 10-and-under division.