MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – A new swimming phenom has been recognized by the most decorated Olympian Michael Phelps himself.
Filipino-American Clark Kent Apuada earned Phelps’ praise after the 10-year-old shattered his 23-year-old junior record in the 100m butterfly last Sunday, July 29.
Apuada clocked 1:09.38 that broke Phelps’ 1:10.48 mark set in 1995.
Apuada, who swims for Monterey County Aquatic Team in California, has been swimming competitively for 4 years, his coach told CNN.
His exploits have already earned him the nickname “Superman” – especially appropriate for the namesake of the mild-mannered reporter who was the super hero’s alter-ego.
“This kid is unlike any other young man that I’ve ever coached,” coach Dia Riana told CNN of the youngster who also excels in computer and science classes in school, studies martial arts and takes piano lessons.
“He’s always stood out,” Riana said. “He’s kind of a savant of sorts.”
The significance of his latest achievement wasn’t lost on Apuada.
“Being a Michael Phelps record breaker is amazing, because Michael Phelps is one of the largest swimming icons in the world,” he told Northern California CBS television affiliate KPIX 5, adding that his ultimate goal is to compete in the Olympics. – With a report from Agence France-Presse