Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The NST : SWIMMING: Quest begins in style

By AJITPAL SINGH | ajitpalsingh@nst.com.my

MSSM CHAMPIONSHIPS: Siew Hui bags two gold on first day in her target of ten

SELANGOR'S Yap Siew Hui inched closer to her quest of winning 10 titles in this year's MSSM swimming competition by effortlessly racking two gold medals on the opening day at Darul Ehsan Complex in Shah Alam yesterday.

Siew Hui, who won seven titles in last year's edition, set a meet record in the girls' 16-18 age-group 50m butterfly by finishing the race in 28.58 seconds.

The previous record of 29.34 was set by former national swimmer Leung Chii Lin seven years ago.

Sarawak's Leong Wan Ying came in second on 30.36 followed by Kuala Lumpur's Jia Yi (30.94).
However, Siew Hui was not too excited as she failed to surpass her personal best of 27.50 in the event.
The double gold medallist at last year's Islamic Solidarity Games won a second gold by clocking 1:11.76 in the 100m event.
Angela Chiang of Sarawak won the 200m freestyle
gold ahead of Yap Siew Hui

Sarawak's Angela Chieng finished second in 1:13.80 followed by Penang's Heah Zi Xin (1:14.19).

But Angela later gained revenge by overcoming Siew Hui for the 200m freestyle gold.

"I missed training for three weeks in January due to dengue. I was the second member of the national team to get it after coach Paul Birmingham," said Siew Hui yesterday.

"The lay-off did affect my fitness and confidence. I still need to do a lot of work in the pool. It will take some time before I can clock faster times."

The 16-year-old is hoping to use the meet to gain confidence ahead of international meets.

"I do not want to add pressure by setting goals in this meet as I am now competing in a higher category.
"There are many good swimmers here but hopefully, I can win as many titles as possible," said Siew Hui, who has qualified for the Youth Olympics in Nanjing in August.

Christy Teh of Kuala Lumpur was the top performer on the opening day, clinching three titles in the girls' 12-and-under 100m backstroke, 50m butterfly and 200m freestyle.

KL's Steve Hoe, Penang's Dylan Wong and Selangor's Asmalia Filzati Redzuan were the other double gold medalists.

Sarawak's Welson Sim (boys' 16-18 age-group 200m), Tang Chong Heng (50m) and Angela (girls' open 800m) each set meet records yesterday.

In diving, Selangor's Farez Izzudin garnered 213.95 to bag the boys' 1m springboard gold followed by teammate Ng Zheng Yuan (165.70) and Sarawak's Enrique Maccartney (160.85).

In the girls' category, Sarawak's Kimberly Bong won gold by posting a 169.90 total ahead of compatriot and silver medallist Tracia Irene (146.75) and KL's bronze medallist Ong Ker Ying (145.15).

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