Sunday, April 28, 2019

5km Swim, MOWS No. 2 at Putrajaya Lake on 21 Apr 2019 and 1st Msian Open Water Swimming Championship

Heat was scorching at mid-day

It was a great day in the short history of Open Water Swimming for Malaysia.
Apart from it being Swimon's 2nd Leg of the Malaysian Open Water Series 2019, ASUM (Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia, responsible for governing Open Water Swimming in Malaysia) joined in to organize the First Open Water Swimming Championship of Malaysia.
It is good for the future of the Sport that ASUM and leading event organizer (Swimon) have so far been working very well together. The sport and the public will benefit from their close collaboration.
Open Water Swimming is  inherently risky to organize. There is the real risk of swimmers drowning, mother nature not cooperating on Race Day etc. There are no full rehearsals, everything has to work like clockwork on Race Day. The support team (event location, Marine Police, Medical, Lifeguards etc) behind the scenes is huge and everyone has to be dedicated, experienced and basically work for a token or no money.
It was heart warming to see many swimmers sacrificing their own Race and looking very smart in their red T shirts, volunteering (body marking, course referee, SUP, photography, registration, medical).  
Swimon is also developing a good name in the swimming world and many swimmers specifically travelled from Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Koh Samui, East Malaysia, Thailand etc to participate.
Long may the good progress of OWS in Malaysia continue.
Event location (Kompleks Sukan Air to Kelab Tasik Putrajaya)
Personally I  like swimming at Putrajaya Lake even though at first glance its blackness looks terrifying. The feel of the freshwater on the body I find to be quite o.k. unlike swimming in the sea where it feels quite sticky.

Beautiful morning at Putrajaya
Beautiful landmarks everywhere
Putrajaya is a beautiful modern location for swimmers, within easy reach from the homes of most participants. There are  many beautiful bridges and buildings all along the swim course. The comforts of the city are at the start / finish location, plus we get to sleep at home the night before.

Great work behind the scenes
The organizing crew are getting better and better as practice makes perfect.
Well done Anir, Sumai, Loges, Cherish, Julia, Azizul, Sham, Esmee, Ross Kass, Chew.
Part of the Organising Crew. Well done guys
Aquaputra Putrajaya and medical support were great.
Well done Aquaputrajaya

VIP treatment at the medical tent for old folks !!!

The VIPs from Putrajaya were also cheerful and supportive inspite of the scorching heat.
Many swimmers turned up to volunteer, thank you
I have never seen so may volunteers turn up to help with a swim event. They look very smart is their red T shirt. Open water swimming is still like a baby in Malaysia and the swimmers are the aunts and uncles, very happy to volunteer help for the baby's growth.
Amongst the many swimmers I saw volunteering were:
  • Doctor Fauzi Othman, Philip, Ridzwan, all are 16km Perhentian finishers.
  • Stephen Jestico, Advance Tan, Yoshi,
  • From Penang, KL Tan and Chris Wee

Thank you all volunteers.

The actual swim

The Nationals
The "National Swimmers", Males then Females started off first. This was the first ever National (Malaysians only) OWS Championships. It was talent spotting time for the SEA Games (Men only) to be held at Subic Bay towards the end of 2019.

First wave - National Males
The focus was on youngsters with age groups divided into 14 - 15, 16 - 17, 18 - 19. The rest were "Open".

First person to thump the finish board. We all got to thump it
It should be noted, any swimmer behind by more than 15 mins from the winner in their respective category, would be categorized as "Over Time Limit". It was strictly implemented.

Unfortunately, three young Singaporean swimmers that took part in the MOWS, were faster than all Malaysian National swimmers. So a lot of work to put in for the SEA Games.

MOWS 5 km
After a briefing all the normal 5km swimmers (Males and Females) started in one wave.

My personal swim
I decided to do my own race and didn't follow the crowd. I did a quick recce of the route beforehand and decided to head for the middle of the first bridge. The other swimmers all swam towards the right of the course.
Good action pics by Fiz Said (thank you Sir)
Swimming in a pack makes one goes faster. So maybe I made a mistake here by swimming on my own.

The Lake conditions were the best I have encountered at Putrajaya. No sun, no wind, perfect conditions. I didn't stop for any drinks.

But I had no idea how I was doing and also I was trying a modification in my swim style.

Anyway I caught Adrianna right at the end but not a teenage boy who was just in front.

First time finished a swim by slapping the finish board, very exciting.
Finish medal

Lots of pebbles

Thank you Sir
Looking at the Results
Full results.

National (Malaysians only) OWS Championship.
Fastest Male was SEA Games 2017 Gold Medalist, Kevin Yeap in 1:06. Second fastest male was Rupert Tan (18 - 19 years) in 1:11. It has been reported in The Star, that Kevin Yeap was only participating to help promote the sport, he will not participate in the next SEA Games.

Kevin Yeap - thank you for your services to the Nation and OWS
Fastest female was Chelsea Ning Lee (14 - 15 years) in 1:18. Second fastest was Sea Games Bronze Medalist (Triathlon), Irene Chong in 1:20.
MOWS Sea Lion 5 km.
The two fastest Males in the MOWS finished in 1:04 and the fastest female in 1:05. All young swimmers from Singapore. All faster than retired Kevin Yeap.

The fastest Male and Female were from Singapore. Here with their Team Official, very cheerful VIPs and Meet Director
Female 40+. Well done Adriana, Lini

Very fast 40+ Male (from Hong Kong)
Female 50+. First and third from THAILAND
Personally, I feel I didn't do well compared to MOWS No. 1. I'm trying to understand the mistakes I made during MOWS No. 2. Longer distances I thought was my forte.
2nd 60+Age Group (1:41:51). Please be gentle with us, we both have health issues hee hee

Hee hee, I did even worse 6 days later at Labuan. Oh well. I swim to stay healthy.

Well done to all swimmers, organizing crew and volunteers.
Majulah sukan Open Water Swimming untuk Negara

28 April 2019

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