Ong still the fastest man

Ong still the fastest man
National Swimmer Russell Ong.

SINGAPORE - National swimmer Russell Ong proved once again that experience is a powerful weapon alongside talent when it comes to the 50m freestyle sprint.

Twenty-five-year-old Ong, the oldest swimmer in the eight-man final, claimed the title of the nation's fastest man at the Singapore National Age Group Swimming Championships on Saturday.

This made it the second time in three months - since December's SEA Games, where Ong finished second to Indonesia's Triady Sidiq - that the swimmer has demonstrated supremacy to keep a host of young challengers at bay.

At the Singapore Sports School on Saturday, Ong could not repeat his SEA Games performance of 23.14 seconds, taking victory in 23.35sec.

In second place was Clement Lim, 21, in 23.39 while teen sprint sensation Darren Lim, 16, was third in 23.48.

Said Ong, who has one silver and three bronzes from the 50m sprint at the SEA Games: "I have been busy with school and have not been training much, so I'm happy with this.

"I guess experience really counts in a race like this and I'm what you might call an 'old bird' already."

Darren's coach Gary Tan was happy with his protege's performance especially after the swimmer did not live up to his own high standards at December's SEA Games, where he was fifth in 23.58.

Said Tan: "Darren is taking it one step at a time. Let's not forget that he is still a boy in a men's event - where swimmers in their late 20s and 30s are still doing it.

"We have to give him some space to grow, as well."

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