BISP swimmers and SEA Games competitors Raine Gavino, Fukang Wong, Phiangkhwan “Eing” Pawapotako, Roxanne Yu
With a squad of just five, the swimmers of British International School, Phuket (BISP) brought back nine medals from the recent Southeast Asian Games in Singapore.
The one gold, four silver, and four bronze medals from the 11 nation event meant that the Phuket-based school ended up outscoring three countries on the overall – not just swimming – medal table: Laos, Brunei and East Timor. The astonishing haul by the BISP team, who were competing for their various home nations at the SEA Games, would have seen them placed 9th out of 12 in the standings if the school was competing as a country.
Following on from the one gold, two silvers, and two bronze medals won by the BISP swimmers at the start of the SEA Games (see earlier story here), BISP swimmers bagged another two medals on the penultimate day of competition on 10 June in the Women’s 4x100m Medley Relay final, with Year 11 student Phiangkhwan “Eing” Pawapotako leading the Thailand team to silver, and BISP graduating student Roxanne Yu – headed to the University of Miami in the summer – helping win bronze for the Philippines.
On the last day of swim competition, Thursday 11 June, first up was 16 year-old BISP student Fukang Wong, who posted a swift Malaysian Record, breaking 28.67 in the Mens 50m Breaststroke to finish in bronze medal position. Next up was 14 year-old Raine Gavino, competing in her first SEA Games and managing to final, alongside Eing in the Womens 200m Breaststroke. However, this race was really all about Eing up against Vietnamese Olympian Vien Thi Anh Nguyen, who had already won 7 gold medals.
The race was an absolute show stopper, with Eing splitting a fraction behind Nguyen at the 100 meter mark in 1min 13.42, and fighting back neck and neck through until the last 15 meters, with Nguyen out-touching BISP’s Eing for the gold, but pushing her to a Thailand National Record, Olympic B qualifying time and a silver medal time of 2min 31.51.
Last but not least, Fukang was back in the pool for Team Malaysia in the 4x100m Medley Relay, splitting an incredible time of 1min 01.77 on the breaststroke leg. Malaysia finished in 4th place overall, but Fukang’s times are an indicator of some exciting races ahead.
“Over the week, our BISP swimmers have given their all,” said BISP JSA Swim Academy Head Coach Simon Jones. “They been involved in multiple races, experienced TV interviews – some for the first time – witnessed some truly world class swimming – some by themselves – and most importantly made new friendships. Its been a truly wonderful experience, and for myself, an honour to have represented Team Thailand as a coach.”
“Congratulations to first time SEA Games swimmers Raine Gavino, Chantal Liew and Roxanne Yu for your efforts, and to Eing and Fukang for continuing to inspire us all. For those younger swimmers dreaming of joining us on this stage, and who are prepared to put in the hard work required to make it, I could not recommend applying to the BISP JSA Swim Academy more strongly! Farewell SEA Games, until next time – Malaysia 2017.”