By Fadhli Ishak | fadhli_Ishak@mediaprima.com.my
POWER SHOW: Relay sweep augurs well for the future
HAVING clinched their first overall title in more than a decade at the Pahang Malaysia Games last year, Selangor's future in the sport looks set to remain bright after their girls Under-12 and Under-16 relay teams set records in the Malaysian Schools Sports Council swimming championships yesterday.
The Under-12 quartet of Rosalind Pang, Liew Chern Xin, Shannen Kay Chan and Ho Jia Ern shaved over a second off the record of two minutes 17.81 seconds set by Sarawak in 2001 en route to clinching the 4x50m medley relay event gold.
Selangor won in 2:15.84s with Federal Territories (Karla Lim, Christy Teh, Anjali Lim, Pun Pei Jin) finishing second in 2:24.15s. Third were Sabah (Michelle Yong, Jenny Ngo, Ilyani Muhamad, Cheng Ka Man) who clocked 2:26.56s.
The gold in the event was the eighth Rosalind has won at the championships thus far.
The Under-16 team of Yap Siew Hui, Nadia Redza, Asmalia Filzati and Kimberly Ong took the 4x100m medley gold in 4:35.98s to erase the old mark of 4:40.06s set by Sabah in 2004.
FT's Tan Rou Ying, Koh Jia Yi, Cindy Tai and Zoe Bowden clinched silver in 4:40.24s while Penang (Ruth Chuah, Gan Xin Jie, Andrena Soon, Elynn Tan Yilin) had to settle for bronze on 4:49.50s.
Selangor team manager B.H Chin said her charges' exploits in the relay events are a healthy sign for the future of the sport in the state.
"To be honest, we had expected to win both events after comparing our swimmers' times to that of our competitors," said Chin.
"However, we did not expect to set record times and to do so is a great achievement for all the girls who have worked very hard."
With only 12 gold medals on offer on the final day today, Selangor -- whose athletes are coached by former national swimmers Mark and Marilyn Chua -- are now officially overall winners of the swimming competition with an unassailable 33 gold, 29 silver and 14 bronze haul. Sarawak (15-16-18) are second while FT are in third place with 13 gold, 11 silver and eight bronze.
Meanwhile, a fatigued Tia'Faang Der (Johor) did well to rewrite the boys' Under-18 400m individual medley record when he won the event in 4:44.73s to erase the old mark of 4:46.30s set by Selangor's Kevin Lim in 2009.
Second was Sarawak's Alex Tiong (4:52.56s) while Malacca's Foong Wei Yao clinched bronze with 4:57.37s.
Despite the victory, Faang Der -- whose personal best in the event is 4:40.40s -- felt he could have lowered the record even more.
"I felt quite tired after three days of hard swimming here," said the SMK Desa Skudai student.
Sarawak's Welson Sim missed out on a clean sweep of the boys' Under-18 individual freestyle events when he finished fifth in the 50m freestyle.
Penang's Alwyn Tan took gold in 24.64s while Selangor's Benny Ng finished second (24.76s). Perak's Wong Jie clocked 25.05s for the bronze.
|All smiles from the Selangor Under-12 and Under-16 teams who set records in the 4x50m and 4x100m medley relay events respectively.|
In diving, Megan Elizabeth Teoh of Selangor -- who on Tuesday took the 1m springboard gold -- clinched the girls' Under-12 3m springboard title to complete a clean sweep in her age group.
Megan sealed victory with a 200.15 score ahead of Sabah duo Nur Ain Naadzmi (170.15) and Nurfazriyanti Jali (137.25) who finished second and third respectively.
The 12-year-old, who trains under coach Qi Jian Hua of China, said she was delighted with her performance after having to settle for silver and bronze in the 1m and 3m springboard events last year.
Selangor's Ng Zheng Hao, who won the 1m springboard on Wednesday, also notched a double when he took the boys' Under-15 3m springboard gold with a 269.45 score.
Negri Sembilan's Mohd Danial Asyraf (189.60) clinched silver while FT's Abdul Hakim A.Kahar finished third on 62.65.
The boys' Under-18 1m springboard saw Negri's Adzhar Imran Rusli edge Sarawak's Chan Wee Chiek to the gold with a 322.00 score against the latter's 310.90. Third was Sylvester Gaing Peter Jawa who scored 276.50.
The boys' water polo final today will see a repeat of last year's decider after defending champions Malacca and Negri both breezed past their semi-final opponents.
Malacca were rarely tested in their 21-3 win over Selangor while Negri overpowered FT 16-8.