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Pool queen


AMAZING: Nataliya smashes seven records at Penang Speedo Masters

GEORGETOWN: IAN Fleming would have been excited. She reminded you of Ursula Andress when she walked out of the pool, all dripping wet after her golden efforts.
Lanky Ukrainian blonde beauty, Nataliya Simak was just unbeatable at the recent Penang Speedo Masters International Swimming Championships.
On a mission for Royal Selangor Golf Club, Nataliya dived into the water seven times and torpedoed seven records.
Though competing in the women's 40 to 44 years age-group, Nataliya showed the lithe and agility of a nubile young woman.
She imperiously won gold medals in the 200m individual medley, 100m breaststroke, 100m freestyle, 50m backstroke, 50m butterfly, 50m freestyle and 50m breaststroke events.
Seven years earlier, Nataliya had already shown her piranha-like appetite for devouring records when she set five fastest times in the 30 to 34 years age group.
In 2006, she obliterated six records in the 35 to 39 years age group, and now after a six-year break, she is back, and making huge waves.
The macho guy who swam like Tarzan at the championships was Manfred Mahrle of the HSV Wien team from Austria.
Competing in the men’s 40 to 44 years age-group, he broke five records:  200m individual medley, 100m freestyle, 50m backstroke, 50m butterfly and 50m freestyle
Overall, Chinese Swimming Club (CSC) were unrivalled when it came to duelling on water.
For the fourth consecutive year, they ruled as the overall winners in the Penang Speedo Masters International Swimming Championships.
CSC accumulated 1,000 points, almost doubled that of their nearer rivals.
Royal Selangor Golf Club had to settle for second place with 571 points while Universiti Sains Malaysia emerged third with 406 points.
The competition, which attracted some 105 swimmers from Ukraine, Japan, Australia, China, Singapore, England, South Africa and Malaysia, consisted of 10 age-groups each for the men and women.
A total of 120 events was held at CSC’s 50mx30m salt water pool in Tanjong Bungah.
The rain did not dampen the competitive spirits of the participants.
This year's championships saw 51 records erased, the most since the inception of the championship eight years ago.
Malaysian Olympian, Cheah Tong Kim, representing the H2O United Swimming Club, competed in the 65 years and above (Group 9) category.  
He broke two records, in the 100m breaststroke where he was timed 1 minute 39.11 seconds, erasing the old mark of 2 mins 00.52s, and beating record holder Yeoh Seng Hock to second place (2:19.94s) while third was Aug Chin Heng.
The 1964 Tokyo Olympic swimmer's second record was in the 50m breaststroke where he timed 40.03 secs to erase Yeoh Seng Hock's mark (who finished third in the race) of 52.27 secs.  In  second spot was Lee Teik Eng.
Tong Kim also holds four other records, two each in the 55 to 59 (Group 7) and 60 to 64 (Group 8) age groups.
The other Malaysian who shone at the championships was Clement David Leong of Universiti Sains Malaysia.
Competing in the men’s 19 to 24 age-group,  the undergraduate rewrote five individual records and was part of the record breaking 4x50m freestyle relay team —  200m Individual Medley, 100m breaststroke, 50m backstroke, 50m butterfly and 50M breaststroke events.

The winners of the men’s 50m breaststroke (from left) Lee Teik Eng, Cheah Tong Kim and Yeoh Seng Hock.

The winners of the Penang Speedo Masters International Swimming Championships at Batu Ferringhi recently. Nataliya Simak is on the right. Pix by K. Kandiah

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