Saturday, 26 July 2014

The Star : Swimmer Lai Kwan sets PB but falls short in the semis


GLASGOW: Not even three years away from the national team could stop Chui Lai Kwan from making waves in the pool at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Chui Lai Kwan broke her own national record in the 50m freestyle event at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games on Friday. - Filepic

On Friday, Lai Kwan rewrote her own national record to reach the semi-finals of the women’s 50m freestyle when she clocked 26.00 at the Tollcross Swimming Centre.

Last year, she clocked 26.02 during the University Games.

But as expected, Lai Kwan found the going tough in the second semi-final heats yesterday when she finished last with a time of 26.10 in a eight-member field.

Lai Kwan, who left the national team in 2011, did reasonably well at the Malaysian Open recently and that led to the Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) giving her a chance to don national colours in Glasgow.

Asum secretary Edwin Chong is happy that Lai Kwan did not disappoint.

“She may be an independent athlete now but she has been actively training on her own. I’m glad that we kept our door open to give even non-national athletes a chance to feature in big Games,” said Edwin.

“I believe that every athlete deserves a chance to qualify on merit. I’m happy that Asum took this stand. It is good for Asum, good for the athletes and good for the sport.”

In the heats, England’s Francesca Halsall shattered the eight-year Games record with a superb time of 24.31. The old mark of 24.61 was set by Libby Lenton of Australia in 2006.

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