Fukang Wong Looks Back at Malaysian Record

Photo Courtesy: BIS Phuket

Contribution by Jean-Pierre Mestanza

Fukang Wong’s time of 1:02:56 in the men’s 100m breaststroke broke a 15-year-old Malaysian Open swim record back in March at the Milo/Pram Malaysia Open Swimming Championship.

The 16-year-old started fast and finished at an intense pace. Fukang would later explain that he just wanted to go fast – real fast. But he didn’t realize that, by the time he left the water, he had broken a 15-year-old mark.

“I honestly didn’t expect to qualify for the World Championships or the Olympics. I just want to go as fast as I can. So I was really surprised when I saw the time I got,” Fukang said.

In the race, he clocked in at 1:02:56 to beat former record-holder Elvin Chia’s mark of 1:02:59, set in 2000.

If you ask the coaches of the High Performance Team at British International School, Phuket (BISP), where Fukang has trained and studied for the past six months, it’s no accident.

“[Fukang] has done a really great job of dialing in, focusing on what he wants, and his performance has really keyed-him in to having the mentality of possibly making it to Rio [2016 Olympics],” said coach Chris Gaffney.

Gaffney says Fukang’s standout performance has helped raise the morale of the rest of the squad as well.

“It’s affected a lot of our kids. They’re all getting better, they all see it and they all feel it. We really make sure our kids have clear cut goals and it’s our job to make sure they are on track. For someone like Fukang to come in and do this well, not just in the water but academically, it’s great.”

Fukang has competed in the Southeast Asian Games as well as the Asian Youth Games, among other big events. Swimming alongside Malaysian teammate Eric Tan, Fukang – who has been swimming since age six and competitively since age nine – says he still has better days ahead.

“I am competitive. Swimming is a good way to express myself. I want to win so I train hard and it helps me keep onto my goals,” he said.

For more information on British International School, Phuket’s BISP JSA Swim Academy, visit: www.bisphuket.ac.th/bisp-jsa-swim-academy – or contact Head Coach Simon Jones: aquatics@bisphuket.ac.th