Thursday, 16 May 2013

The NST : SWIMMING / MALAYSIAN OPEN: Coach urges on charges


PROVE YOUR METTLE: Wants them to push harder and record faster times

NATIONAL coach Paul Birmingham has urged his swimmers to clock faster times in the Malaysian Open, which starts today, for qualification to the World Championships in July.

Sea Games champion Kevin Yeap, Daniel Bego, Shaun Yap, Lim Ching Hwang, Khoo Cai Lin, Siow Yi Ting and Christina Loh have met the 'B' qualifying times in previous meets.

With entries from India and Hong Kong, the local swimmers cannot afford poor performances in the four-day event at the National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil.

"I hope some of my swimmers will make a huge impression. I have told them to push harder and record faster times," said Birmingham recently.

Singapore-based Ching Hwang, who has opted not to make his world meet debut in Barcelona in favour of the Asian Youth Games (AYG) in Nanjing, China in August, is among the contenders in the Malaysian Open.

The 16-year-old is not at his best condition as he was ill last week but is confident of a decent performance.
Ching Hwang met the 200m freestyle world meet qualifying mark at the Singapore national age-group meet in March with a new personal mark of 1:50.42.

His time is faster than the previous AYG winning time of 1:52.22 set in Singapore in 2009.

If he continues to progress, he could become the first local gold medallist at the event.

"The world meet is every two years but not the AYG because I will not be eligible for the next one.

"I also intend to do well in the World Youth Championships in Dubai (from Aug 26-31)," said Ching Hwang.
Ching Hwang will represent Selangor in the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle races.

The 200m freestyle is expected to be a fiery affair between Ching Hwang and record holder Bego, who has regained his form after undergoing shoulder surgery last year.

Shaun, 17, is the other swimmer to watch in the Malaysian Open. He rewrote his own 50m breaststroke national record by clocking 28.69 at last month's national age-group.

The preliminary round starts from 9am while the finals will be from 5pm until Sunday.

Read more: SWIMMING / MALAYSIAN OPEN: Coach urges on charges - Other - New Straits Times

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