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Teen swimmer Adam Mak won the Division 1 Age Group Short Course Competition on Sunday. Photo: Shirley Chui

Hong Kong swim star Adam Mak eyes long course records as Asian Games qualification nears

  • The teenager hopes an extended off-season training camp will put him on the path to success
  • ‘The next five months are very important,’ coach Fu says. ‘Although he is still a teenager, he has good mentality for competition’

Adam Mak Sai-ting, the world junior 200m breaststroke bronze medallist, is hoping a five month off-season training camp will give him an edge to challenge the Hong Kong and Asian Games long-course record next year.

The 16-year-old finished his season at Sunday’s Division 1 Age Group Short Course Competition in Victoria Park, by coming first in the Boys 15-17 200m breaststroke in 2 minutes, 11.89 seconds – the fastest overall time of the day.

Mak has enjoyed an incredible summer, winning the city’s first ever boys medal at the World Junior Championships in September and making his mark at the short course World Cup in Toronto last month, where the form five pupil broke the city’s 200m breaststroke senior record twice on his way to finishing seventh in the final with a time of 2:07.59.

Adam Mak with his World Junior bronze medal. Photo: Shirley Chui

However that record, as well as a spot in the short course World Championships in Melbourne next month, was taken away when Adam Chillingworth set a new mark of 2:07.13 at the World Cup leg in Indianapolis.

“It definitely boosted my confidence after the world cups in Toronto and Indianapolis. I was thrilled to be able to make the final, it was my first World Cup meet,” Mak said.

Despite Sunday’s result, the breaststroke specialist said he had “many areas to improve” and would now focus on his off-season training to prepare for the Long Course Swimming Time Trial – a race that will count towards selection for the Asian Games.

“I just got back from the [Indianapolis] World Cup [early this month] and started off-season training,” Mak said. “I did not taper for this meet, just swam like it was a training session.”

Fu Yanhao, Mak’s Hong Kong Sports Institute swimming coach since 2019, predicted a faster time for him.

“To be honest, Adam’s performance this summer was all within our expectations,” Fu said. “Although he is still a teenager, he has a clear head, a very sensitive feel for technical learning, and he has a good mentality for competition as well.”

The teenager holds three long course Hong Kong junior records, including the 200m breaststroke record of 2:14.41 he set at April’s Time Trial, compared to Chillingwoth’s senior record of 2:12.17 set in the British Swimming Championships, also in April.

“The next five months are very important, we will help him improve on all details. Both Chillingworth and Benson Wong have their own outstanding characteristics in swimming and they are adults, so Mak has to work even harder if he wants to swim close to them,” Fu said.