Vietnam sizzles in SEA Age Group Swimming opener

By Ivan Saldajeno

LOS BANOS--Tran Hung Nguyen led Vietnam's early charge in Day 1 of the Southeast Asian Age Group Swimming Championships at the Trace Aquatic Center on Friday.

Nguyen broke three records, two coming from Vietnamese compatriots, to headline Vietnam's 19-gold overhaul in the opener of the three-day event.

Nguyen won the boys 14-15 200-meter individual medley final by the time of 2:05.22, barely a second faster than the old record of 2:06.47 by Huu Kim Son Nguyen last year.

The Nguyens then teamed up with Nguyen Hoy Hoang and Nguyen Quang Thuan in breaking the record in the boys 4x200-meter freestyle relay, winning the gold at 7:44.22, faster by nearly three-quarters of a second than the 7:44.96 set by Vietnam's 2016 team.

Tran Hung Nguyen also took the gold in the boys 14-15 50-meter freestyle in record fashion, shattering Singaporean Mikkel Lee's 2017 record of 23.97 seconds by finishing in 23.89 seconds.

Vietnam also collected 12 silvers and nine bronzes after 39 finals that happened on Friday.

The only times Vietnam failed to land in the Top 3 were in the boys 14-15 50-meter breaststroke, where Nguyen only finished fourth in the final that saw Singaporeans Li Shen Leow and Russell Ngoo going 1-3, the girls U13 50-meter breaststroke ruled by Malaysia's Rouxin Tan, the boys 16-18 100-meter backstroke, where Indonesians Farrel Tangkas and Dwiki Anugrah took home the gold and bronze respectively for Indonesia, the boys 14-15 100-meter backstroke, where Malaysian Dohi Tetsuharu won the gold and Singaporeans Gabriel Koo and Randall Neo got the silver and bronze respectively, the girls U13 100-meter backstroke won by Thailand's Jinjutha Pholjamjumrus, and the boys U13 50-meter freestyle, where Neo got the gold and Jordan Ong cropped the bronze for Singapore.

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