There is much more than academic achievement for a fruitful University life. We believe taking part in sports, music and art help students to boost active learning and living. The story of Raymond Sumitra Lukman set a good example of making a balance between chasing his swimming dream and pursuing study or even career.
Raymond Sumitra Lukman from Indonesia is a true champion – the Year 1 School of Science undergraduate recently won HKUST sports team’s first gold medal at the University Sports Federation of Hong Kong (USFHK) annual aquatic meet for 21 years. Let’s find out more about his swimming achievements and his life at the University.
When did you start swimming competitively, and what is your specialist event?
Raymond: I started competitively in 3rd grade and joined a swimming club. My event is butterfly, but I also do freestyle; I’m a sprinter – 50m or 100m. I’ve won a lot of gold medals at 50m.
What have been your proudest moments in the pool?
Raymond: Definitely the gold medal at the USFHK inter-university meet; I also got silver in the 100m freestyle there. Other memorable occasions include the Hong Kong International Open Swimming Championships – I was one of the youngest in the competition as I was only 18 at the time, so I was proud of achieving bronze in the 50m butterfly.
What was your feeling on winning at the USFHK meet? Did you expect to do so well?
Raymond: It was HKUST’s first swimming gold for two decades, so I am proud of that. I was very happy, and I’m aiming for another gold in the coming years. Before the race I kind of aimed to get gold! I had competed against one of the other swimmers at the Hong Kong International Open Swimming Championships – on that occasion he was fourth and I came third; at USFHK – I was first, he was second! So I have beaten him twice; 50m is a short race so it was very close between us. My time was 25.88 seconds, so I just missed the USFHK record of 25.37s and I wasn’t far off the Hong Kong record of 24.12s.
When and what is your next big competition?
Raymond: The national championships in Indonesia in September, where I hope to take part in the 50m butterfly, 100m freestyle and relay. I’m not part of the official Indonesian swimming team, but I have taken part in international competitions for the Indonesia team on occasion, including the ASEAN School Games, where I won two silver medals, and Singapore National Age Group Swimming Championships – I got a silver in the freestyle relay there.
Why did you choose HKUST?
Raymond: I was thinking about my future – becoming a swimmer is not really promising career-wise, so I decided to focus on academic work. HKUST is a very good university, with high standards of excellence academically. As an overseas student, it is expensive to study in Hong Kong, so I really need to make the most of my opportunity here.
How about the sport facilities on campus?
Raymond: The sports facilities are good; there are two swimming pools, one an Olympic size outdoor pool, so it is able to support my swimming career.
How often do you train and what is your regime, including diet?
Raymond: I train for two to three hours every day – swimming and physical training. In Indonesia I train twice, at the pool in the morning, and the gym in the afternoon, but here at HKUST I need to focus on academic work, so I do one combined session. Swimming involves every muscle in the body, so I need to train all parts. In the gym I do weights, bench presses and cardio such as running. Being in the water means there is less stress on the body, so swimmers suffer fewer injuries compared with runners or those doing body-contact sports such as basketball and football. I don’t really watch what I eat!
Source: HKUST Alumni Summer News 2016