Sunday November 18, 2012
By LIM TEIK HUAT
PETALING JAYA: Kevin Yeap, swimming in the company of double Olympic champion Sun Yang, just missed out on a medal after coming in fourth in the 400m freestyle final at the Asian Swimming Championships in Dubai on Friday.
But there was still reason to smile for the 23-year-old Malaysian as he dipped under the World Championships qualifying time of 3:57.58 for the event.
Kevin clearly enjoyed the opportunity to swim with the Chinese world record holder and it inspired him to finish in 3:54.74, just 0.15s behind third placed Takumi Komatsu of Japan.
It was a new personal best for Kevin, who won the SEA Games gold medal in the discipline last year. More importantly, it assured him a place in the World Championships in Barcelona next July.
Kevin will definitely be primed for an assault on Daniel Bego’s national record of 3:53.99 set in 2009 at the Laos SEA Games when he swims at the world meet.
Australia-based Sun Yang raced to an easy victory with a new championship record of 3:42.49 while team-mate Hao Yun clocked 3:54.34 for the silver.
Kevin had the sixth fastest time of 4:02.47 in the preliminaries to book a place in the final.
He just missed out on the world meet qualifying mark of 1:52.21 for the 200m freestyle after finishing fifth in 1:52.64 in the final, which was also won by Sun Yang.
Khoo Cai Lin made a rare appearance in the women’s 400m individual medley and did well to reach the final, placing fifth with a personal best of 4:56.64.
Malaysia are only represented by three swimmers in Dubai. Yap See Tuan was the first to see action but missed out on making the final of the men’s 50m breaststroke.
He was 13th fastest in the preliminaries with a time of 29.96.
The Asian meet is held every four years and the diving contest will take place next week.