Saturday, 10 May 2014

The Star : Time ticking in Cai Lin’s Asian Games bid


KUALA LUMPUR: The remaining two days of the Malaysian Open swimming championships will be crucial for SEA Games champion Khoo Cai Lin in her bid to qualify for the upcoming Glasgow Commonwealth Games and Incheon Asian Games.

The two-time Olympian warmed up for her pet events – the 400m and 800m freestyle – by winning the 200m freestyle at the National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil on Friday.

26-year-old Cai Lin, representing Selangor, clocked 2:03.98 en route to winning the 200m freestyle gold in the Malaysian Open swimming championships on Friday. - BERNAMA

The 26-year-old Cai Lin, representing Selangor, clocked 2:03.98, which was slower than her national record of 2:03.20, to win her first gold of the championships. Indonesian duo Dewi Ressa Kania was second in 2:06.48 while Putri Sagita clocked 2:08.11 to grab the bronze.

“Today’s 200m victory means nothing as I have two important missions to accomplish, that is trying to beat the Commonwealth and Asian Games qualifying marks for the 400m tomorrow (today) and 800m on Sunday,” said Cai Lin, who made her Commonwealth Games debut in New Delhi in 2010.

“The Malaysian Open is the last meet for us to qualify for the two Games. It would be nice to qualify on merit.

“I am aiming to qualify in the 400m for the Asian Games and 800m for the Commonwealth Games.”

Cai Lin presently holds both the 400m (4:10.75) and 800m (8:45.36) national records. She will have to beat the qualifying times of 4:10.37 and 8:45.28 to earn a ticket to the Glasgow Games in July. To qualify for the Asian Games in September, Cai Lin will have to beat the qualifying times of 4:14.50 and 8:33.55.

With the exception of the men’s national 4x200m quartet, no individual swimmer has qualified for Glasgow. Daniel Bego, Kevin Yeap, Welson Sim and Lim Ching Hwang clocked 7:27.32 en route to winning silver at last year’s Myanmar SEA Games to qualify for Glasgow.

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