Saturday, 10 May 2014

The NST : SWIMMING: Cai Lin’s dual target


DRIVEN: Swimmer wants to earn rightful berth in Glasgow, Incheon contingents

WITH an eye on qualifying on merit for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the Incheon Asian Games, the next two days of the Malaysian Open Swimming Championships will be crucial for freestyle specialist Khoo Cai Lin.

The two-time Olympian is feeling confident ahead of the women’s 400m and 800m freestyle events after clinching a gold medal in the 200m discipline at National Aquatics Centre in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

Cai Lin came close to surpassing her national record of 2:03.20 by finishing the race in 2:03.98, followed by Indonesia’s Dewi Ressa Kania (2:06.48) and Putri Sagita (2:08.11).

Lim Chin Hwang and Khoo Cai Lin with their Malaysian Open gold medals at the National Aquatics Centre yesterday. Pic by Muhd Asyraf Sawal

The Malaysian Open is the final meet for the national swimmers to qualify for the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games.

Swimmers need to surpass the sixth placing mark of the 2010 New Delhi edition to earn a trip to Glasgow. As for the Asian Games, they need to meet the bronze medal time of the 2010 Guangzhou edition.

Only the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay quartet of Daniel Bego, Welson Sim, Lim Ching Hwang and Kevin Yeap have so far qualified on merit for the Commonwealth Games while none has done so for the Asian Games.

“I want to earn my spot in the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games on merit. I did not qualify on merit in 2010 but still competed for exposure purposes,” said Cai Lin.

“I have recovered from a shoulder injury and am feeling quite good. The Malaysia Open is my first proper meet this season as I did not get good competition in the recent age-group meets in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.”

Cai Lin’s five-year-old national record of 4:10.75 in the 400m is better than the Asian Games qualifying mark of 4:14.37. The 26-year-old needs to clock her season’s best today if she hopes to qualify. The Commonwealth Games sixth placing time is 4:10.37.

“Realistically, I have a chance of qualifying for the Asian Games in the 400m and the Commonwealth Games in the 800m event. If I can achieve them, then I should be able to get into the final of both competitions,” Cai Lin added.

In the 800m, Cai Lin believes she can surpass the Commonwealth Games qualifying mark of 8:45.28. She holds the national record of 8:45.36, set in the 2009 Sea Games in Laos. The Asian Games qualifying mark is 8:33.55.

RESULTS (Malaysia unless stated)Men’s 50m backstroke: 1 Gede Siman Sudartawa (Ina) 25.53 (MR), 2 Lau Shiu Yue (Hkg) 26.81, 3 Tern Jian Han 26.90; 50m breaststroke: 1 Wong Chun Yan (Hkg) 28.59, 2 Shaun Yap 29.05, 3 Darrin Lam (Sin) 29.44; 200m freestyle: Lim Chin Hwang 1:50.63, 2 Kevin Yeap 1:51.17, 3 Danny Yeo (Sin) 1:51.62; 200m individual medley: 1 Triady Fauzi (Ina) 2:04.29 (MR), 2 Arren Quek (Sin) 2:08.14, 3 Muhd Hamgari (Ina) 2:08.24; 4x200m freestyle relay: 1 Indonesia 7:55.94, 2 Sarawak 8:16.42, 3 Selangor 8:21.37.

Women’s 50m backstroke: 1 Caroline Chan 30.23, 2 Ratih Istri Kania (Ina) 30.51, 3 Evelyn Lukacs (Hun) 30.63; 50m breaststroke: 1 Christina Loh 32.92, 2 Phee Jinq En 33.16, 3 Erika Kong 33.24; 200m freestyle: 1 Khoo Cai Lin 2:03.98, 2 Dewi Ressa Kania (Ina) 2:06.48, 3 Putri Sagita (Ina) 2:08.11; 200m individual medley: 1 Samantha Louisa (Sin) 2:20.01, 2 Dewi Ressa Kania (Ina) 2:22.19, 3 Erika Kong 2:22.39; 4x200m freestyle relay: 1 Indonesia 8:45.88, 2 Kuala Lumpur 9:18.80.

Read more: SWIMMING: Cai Lin’s dual target - Other - New Straits Times

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