Malaysia teen is king of the pool with 13 wins

JOHOR BARU - G. Rowvan is only 13 years old but he's making waves in the pool. Over the weekend, the young swimmer clinched 13 gold medals in various events at the state-level schools' competition.

The boy also set a new state schools' record for 200m freestyle at the Johor Schools Sports Council (MSSJ) meet held in Batu Pahat from March 6 to 8.

Rowvan, who took part in 15 events, came out tops in the 50m, 100m, 200m categories of the freestyle, backstroke, butterfly, and breaststroke events.

The SMK Sultan Ismail student, an avid swimmer since he was eight years old, now hopes to shine at the national competition in two weeks.

"My dream is to win a gold medal in swimming for Malaysia at the Olympics 2020," said Rowvan.

"I used to admire my sisters who were also state swimmers and when I finally started swimming lessons five years ago, I instantly knew it to be my life's passion.

"While it can be tough juggling practice and studies, timing and discipline were the factors that helped me achieve excellent results even in my UPSR exams last year," said the 5As scorer.

Rowvan, who trains at the Beaver Swim­ming Academy, said he aspires to become a great swimmer like his idol, Michael Phelps, and also hopes to inspire others to take up swimming as a sport.

"My achievements are made possible through the support and encouragement of my parents and coach, as they have never failed to keep my spirits up," Rowvan said, adding that he practises for two hours daily.

Rowvan said he's determined to qualify for the Olympics 2020, which will take place in Tokyo, Japan.

"The competitions I've taken part in are just the beginning in my quest to be the first Malaysian to take home an Olympic gold medal in swimming," he said.

His Iranian coach Majid Akbari Taleb Abadi said that Rowvan possesses all the qualities needed to become a professional swimmer.