PETALING JAYA: Malaysia may be forced to withdraw from the men’s freestyle relay swimming events at the Incheon Asian Games.
|Lim Ching Hwang is currently in Colorado to pursue his higher education studies. - filepic|
It’ll all depend on the availability of Asian Youth Games 200m freestyle gold medallist Lim Ching Hwang.
The 18-year-old is in the United States to pursue his higher studies at a university in Colorado.
The Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) are trying to get the university to allow him to go for the Asiad.
If Ching Hwang is unable to make it, then Malaysia will have to withdraw from both the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle relay events.
“We have to get the permission from not only his university coach but also the head of academic studies,” said Asum secretary Edwin Chong.
“We are still negotiating. But if he can’t go, we’ll have to make changes.”
Asum decided to send only five male and two female swimmers to the Asian Games this time. Besides Ching Hwang, the other male swimmers entered are Kevin Yeap, Welson Sim, Vernon Lee and Alwyn Tan while Chui Lai Kwan and Khoo Cai Lin are the two women swimmers.
If Malaysia were to pull out, it will be loss – especially as the 4x200m quartet of Welson, Kevin, Ching Hwang and Vernon stand a good chance of making the final and even claim a top-five finish in Incheon.
The quartet have done well to improve on their national record five times over the past 12 months – including breaking the national record twice in a day en route to finishing seventh at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games last month.
In Guangzhou four years ago, the quartet of Kevin, Foo Jian Beng, Daniel Bego and Kevin Lim managed to finish sixth.
If Malaysia were to withdraw from the two relay events, then Alwyn and Vernon may not get to go to Incheon as they did not qualify for any individual event.