Saturday, 18 May 2013
The Star : Cai Lin breaks 200m freestyle record
By ASHREENA PILLAI
KUALA LUMPUR: Khoo Cai Lin set the second day of the Malaysian Open Swimming Championships alight with a sensational performance – breaking her own national record in the 200m freestyle – at the National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil.
The Selangor swimmer clocked 2:03.20 to shave 0.35 of a second off her previous time of 2:03.55 which she set at the Asean University Games here in 2008 while the record-setting bodysuits were still in use.
The suits were banned in early 2010.
The time, however, just wasn’t enough for the gold medal as Cai Lin had to settle for silver behind Hong Kong’s Sze Hang Yu (2:01.36). Sabah’s Chris Tan Ling Ling (2:09.71) was third.
“I’m so happy to break my own record ... it was really unexpected. I went into it expecting to swim around the 2:03 mark, but to break it was amazing,” said a beaming Cai Lin.
“I wasn’t really feeling it and couldn’t really sleep in the afternoon. I guess it was nerves.
“I’ve held the record for five years now ... so it’s definitely a great joy to be able to break it after so long.”
Cai Lin, 25, who won the 200m butterfly event on Thursday, will compete in the 400m freestyle today and 800m freestyle tomorrow.
This time, she’ll be gunning to better her 800m freestyle national record of 8:45.36, which she set at the 2009 Laos SEA Games.
“I’ll be swimming the 800m freestyle on Sunday ... hopefully, I can break that one too,” she said.
Meanwhile, Lim Ching Hwang kept the Selangor flag flying high with another great performance in the pool as he edged out Sarawak’s Daniel Bego in the 200m freestyle with a new meet record.
Ching Hwang clocked 1:50.62 to clinch his fourth gold of the meet, ahead of Daniel (1:51.46) and Kevin Yeap (1:53.22).
Negri Sembilan’s Siow Yi Ting also bagged two golds – in the 50m breaststroke and 200m individual medley respectively.
She clinched the 200IM gold with a new meet record of 2:17.78.