SWIMMER Kevin Yeap must thank teammate Daniel Bego for pushing him to the limits after the 24-year-old recorded his career-first individual national record in the Malaysia Open at National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
|Kevin Yeap en route to winning the 400m freestyle at National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil yesterday. (Inset) Kevin with his gold medal. Pic by Goh Thean Howe|
Kevin, a gold medallist at the 2011 Indonesia Sea Games, attributed his success to Daniel for giving him a tough race.
"Daniel pushed me so hard in the race and it motivated me to swim faster. It was a good race. I am happy that Daniel has come back strongly from a shoulder surgery," said the delighted Kevin yesterday.
As for Daniel, who finished in 3:54.01 for the silver medal, it was his third straight loss in the meet. He finished second to 16-year-old Lim Ching Hwang in the previous day's 100m and 200m freestyle. Vernon Lee came in third on 3:58.65.
"I always wanted to break an individual record but I was not expecting it today as I have never dipped below 3:54. I came close three times last year with a personal best of 3:54.19.
"I am delighted but I had to work hard for it. I pushed myself hard in training and it paid dividends," said Kevin.
On his goals, Kevin said he hopes to do well at the World Championships in Barcelona in July and also defend his Sea Games title in the 400m freestyle in Myanmar in December.
"It is hard to predict my chances in Myanmar as swimmers tend to pop up from nowhere in this region. As for now, my main rival will be a youngster from Thailand, who is based in Japan," said Kevin.
The swimmer is hoping to slash a few seconds off Jeffrey Ong's 22-year-old record of 15:23.61 in the 1,500m freestyle today.
"Hopefully, I can peak again tomorrow (today) and achieve my goal. My personal best of 15:32.51, achieved last year, is far off Jeffrey's record. I hope to improve my timing here and smash his record at the world meet," said Kevin.
Siow Yi Ting continued her mesmerising performance by winning her fifth gold of the meet in the 200m breaststroke in 2:32.97 followed by Nadia Adrianna Redza (2:40.87) and Phee Jing En (2:45.39). It was also her third meet record in the competition.
"I hope to make it sixth tomorrow (today) in the 50m freestyle," said Yi Ting.
Men's 50m butterfly: 1 Ng Chun Nam (HK), 25.32s, 2 Chan Jie (Sel) 25.63,3 Alwyn Tan (Pen) 25.76;
100m backstroke: 1 Tern Jian han (Joh) 57.77,2 Ian James Barr (KL) 58.66,3 Ashwin Menon (Ind) 59.96;
200m breaststroke: 1 Sandeep Sejwal (Ind) 2:15.73s (MR), 2 Yap See Tuan (Pah) 2:18.23, 3 Shaun Yap (Sel) 2:18.75;
400m freestyle: 1 Kevin Yeap (Per) 3:53.26 (MR) (NR), 2 Daniel Bego (Sar) 3:54.01,3 Vernon Lee (Sar) 3:58.87.
4x100m freestyle: 1 Selangor 3:32.74, 2 Penang 3:37.95, 3 India 3:38.79.
Women's 50m butterfly: 1 Yap Siew Hui (Sel) 27.60, 2 Sze Hang Yu (HK) 27.66,3 Chan Kin Lok (HK) 27.74;
100m backstroke: 1 Chris Tan Li Ling (Sab) 1:07.35, 2 Caroline Chan (Sel) 1:08.46, 3 Amanda Pasaoa Lee (Sel) 1:10.29.
200m breaststroke: 1 Siow Yi Ting (NS) 2:32.97s (MR), 2 Nadia Adriana Redza (Sel) 2:40.87, 3 Phee Jing En (Sel) 2:45.39.
400m freestyle: 1 Khoo Cai Lin (Sel) 4:17.73 (MR), 2 Erika Kong (Sar) 4:30.37, 3 Mirthe Hofstede (Sel) 4:35.95;
4x100m freestyle: 1 Selangor 4:05.99, 2 Sabah 4:06.53, 3 Kuala Lumpur 4:11.27
(* NR -- national record,* MR -- meet record)