Kenneth To, the 24-year-old once Australian National Team member, made his Hong Kong competition debut this weekend, his first since making the move to represent the nation in international competition. Earlier this year, To confirmed to SwimSwam that he had submitted all of the necessary FINA paperwork for the federation transition, but had only been residing in the Asian nation in which he was born since late last year. As such, it will at least be until late 2017 when he can represent his new home in competition.
At the Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association Championships this past weekend, To represented his Lai Wa Swimming Club. The sprinter raced in 5 SCM events at the Shing Mun Valley Swimming Pool, producing his most solid effort in the 100m IM. He recorded a winning time of 52.32 to clinch the gold in his best outing since 2015. To’s effort also would have also erased the Hong Kong national record in the event, 54.70 held by Geoffrey Cheah, had To been representing the nation officially. To’s time also checks in the world rankings as the 8th fastest SCM 100 IM for the 2016-17 season.
In fact, all of To’s gold medal-winning races from the March 10th-12th meet would have erased current Hong Kong national records as well. He fired off a 47.90 in the 100 freestyle, followed by a mark of 23.17 in the 50 fly and 1:56.15 in the 200 IM. To finished off the meet with a win in the 50 breaststroke in 27.34, a career-best for the former Aussie.
To’s next meet is the Samsung 59th Festival of Sport (LCM) on April 15th and 16th at the Hong Kong Sports Institute.