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Coquitlam swimming superstar breaks another national record in his age group

Coquitlam's Laon Kim followed up on his high school male athlete of the year award with six medals at the eastern Canadian championships.
Coquitlam's Laon Kim broke the national age-group record (ages 13-14) with a time of 1:53.32 in the men's 200m freestyle category at the 2023 Eastern Canadian Championships in Windsor, Ont.

Hard to believe that Laon Kim is only 14 years old.

But with the way he's been competing recently, it may not be long before we watch him swim for Canada in the Olympics within the decade.

Earlier this month, the Coquitlam product broke another national record for his age group, plus two others, en route to a total of six medals at the 2023 Eastern Canadian Championships.

This included three individual golds for Kim in the Windsor, Ont., pool.

And the high-octane performance came on the heels of winning the 2022 Sports BC male high school athlete of the year award.

Kim clocked a time of 1:53.32 in the men's 200-metre freestyle race on March 17, his first of the three-day meet.

That swim is now the fastest in the 13-14 age group at the Canadian national and B.C. provincial levels, and was the second record Kim has broken in seven months.

In August 2022, the Gleneagle Secondary student broke the national age-group record in the men's 800-metre freestyle race at the 2022 Canadian Junior and Senior Championships in Montreal, Que., where he won nine medals, including four golds.

Later, in December, Kim broke three other Canadian age-group records in the 200-metre butterfly, 50- and 100-metre freestyle at the Ontario Junior International.

Kim also broke a second record at easterns — 56.25 in the 100-metre butterfly, the fastest ever by a B.C. swimmer in the men's 13-14 division of the race.

His third solo gold came in the 100-metre freestyle with a time of 52.57, which was a full second ahead of second place.

Kim also brought back three other medals from team relay races with his Hyack Sim Club teammates (New Westminster).

This included:

  • Gold
    • 14+ men's 4x100-metre freestyle (52.10)
    • 14+ men's 4x200-metre freestyle (1:53.34)
  • Silver
    • 14+ men's 4x100-metre medley (56.17)

Last fall, Kim won three gold medals at the 2022 B.C. high school aquatics championships, which added to the six medals he amassed at the 2022 Canada Summer Games with the provincial squad.