KUALA LUMPUR: Smashing Jeffrey Ong’s 23-year-old national 1,500m freestyle record is still very much on the mind of swimmer Kevin Yeap Soon Choy.
The 25-year-old stressed he has never given up hope of achieving the feat despite failing to do so in the past two years.
The Perak-born lad was only five when Jeffrey clocked 15:23.61 en route to winning the silver at the World University Games in Sheffield, England, in 1991.
|Kevin Yeap Soon Choy was touted as the swimmer to rewrite the longest standing national record when he clocked 15:32.51 to win the Malaysian Open in 2012.|
Kevin, the 2011 SEA Games gold medallist, was touted as the swimmer to rewrite the longest standing national record when he clocked 15:32.51 to win the Malaysian Open in 2012. He has, however, failed to reproduce that kind of form since.
Despite his advancing age, Kevin, who swam to his season’s best 3:53.65 to claim the 400m freestyle gold on the third day of the Malaysian Open at the National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil on Saturday, believes time is still on his side.
“It has always been my ultimate goal to break Jeffrey’s record. And I believe I can to it one day,” said Kevin.
“I’m in good shape, feeling fitter than ever since the Myanmar SEA Games in December last year. Early this year, I was struggling to regain my full fitness as I was down with a viral infection.
“I swam my season’s best today (Saturday), which is a sign of better things to come,” he added confidently.
Kevin’s time on Saturday was five seconds faster than his previous competitive mark of 3:58.43, which he set at last month’s National Age-Group Championships to qualify for next year’s World Championships in Russia.
Kevin will return to the pool today for the 1,500m race, hoping to close in to his personal best.
Meanwhile, Khoo Cai Lin failed in her first bid to qualify for the Incheon Asian Games despite winning the 400m freestyle. She clocked a meet record time of 4:16.83 to erase her own mark of 4:17.73.