Lao UC San Diego
Chon Pong Lao, a UCSD swimmer, will be part of the World University Games in Italy, which begin this week. Photo credit: Derrick Tuskan, via

Chon Pong Lao of the UC San Diego men’s swimming and diving team will compete at this summer’s World University Games.

The Triton breaststroke specialist, a Macao native, will represent his home in the 100-meter breaststroke in Naples, Italy.

He described himself as “super surprised and excited” when he learned of his selection. He credits being part of a top NCAA Division II team for drawing attention from Macau’s coaches.

“I feel like I have the best training of my life at UC San Diego,” he said.

Lao competed for the Tritons last season after transferring from San Diego Mesa College.

This summer’s World University Games will not be Lao’s first time competing on the international stage. In 2013, he represented Macau at the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships.

Lao said he feels confident as the competition approaches because of his hard work over the past year.

“I love competing with different swimmers from different countries because everyone at this level is so competitive and it pushes me to perform my best,” he said.

The World University Games begin Wednesday. Lao’s event, the 100-meter breast, will be held Thursday. Two UC San Diego water polo players also will compete at the games.

– Staff reports