Teen swimmers gearing for swimming action at FINA Worlds

Puran Gurung

A lone Bhutanese freestyle swimmer, also a Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) scholarship holder is all set for swimming action at Budapest starting June 18 to July 3.

Representing Bhutan, the duo swimmer teens – 18-year-old Sangay Tenzin, and 17-year-old Kinley will compete at 19th edition of FINA World Championship 2022 in Budapest, Hungary.

Sangay Tenzin compete for 100m freestyle and 200m freestyle. While, Kinley Lhendup will compete for 100m butterfly and 200m Individual Medley (IM).

Both participated for the first time in a major swimming competition, they participated at the 18th FINA World Championship held in Gwangju, South Korea in 2019.

Later, they participated at the FINA Swimming World Cup Kazan, Russia, also in 2019.

Their last participation was at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, and at the 15th edition of the FINA World Swimming Championships in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates in 2021.

Sangay’s personal best (PB) in 100m freestyle is 57.57 seconds set at Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and his PB in 200m freestyle is two minutes 12 seconds.

Kinley’s PB in 100m butterfly is 1:01.07 and in 200m IM is 02:39:09, both set at Thailand Age Group Swimming Championships 2022.

“I have prepped myself with the help of my coach and teammates really well for this upcoming competition,” said the teen swimmer, Sangay Tenzin. “I am very confident to break at least my personal best,” he added.

Kinley Lhendup is also equally ready. For his third World Championship, he said: “I am fully prepared to give my best in the water.”

Meanwhile, both the teen swimmers thanked Bhutan Olympic Committee for giving them the platform to represent the country.

They said they are confident to represent the country to the best of their ability.

“We are very confident about our two Bhutanese swimmers,” said a member of Development Unit of Bhutan Aquatics Federation, Tshering Zam.

“They are being trained at a professional training centre, they have adequate competitive exposure,” she said. Adding to it, she also added that they are trained with other professional athletes, and their coaching team is also perfect.  

Both the Bhutanese swimmers are FINA scholarship holders. FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation) is the international federation recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for administering international competitions in water sports.

On June 24, 2021, FINA President Captain Husain Al Musallam signed an agreement with the Bhutan Aquatics Federation (BAF) to build the first ever swimming pool in Bhutan, located on edge of the Himalayas Mountain range.

This is as a part of FINA’s Pools for All Programme, an initiative launched in 2019 and intended to ensure that all FINA National Member Federations have access to the best possible aquatic facilities to promote aquatic sports. With this project, Bhutan becomes the first Federation benefiting from this Development Activity programme, an area of strong focus driven by President Al Musallam.

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