BY LIM TEIK HUAT
PETALING JAYA: Swimmer Kevin Yeap will be hoping for better fortunes as he bids to earn his first Olympic appearance in Rio de Janeiro in August.
The 25-year-old Kevin will compete in the Luxembourg Euro Meet from Jan 29-31 with Welson Sim, Phee Jinq En, Khoo Cai Lin and Erika Kong. This will be the Malaysian swimmers’ first outing of the year.
Kevin will only focus on the men’s 1,500m freestyle, with the goal of meeting the B qualifying time for the Rio Olympics.
The B qualifying time is 15:46.79. Kevin has a personal best of 15:31.67, which he set on the way to finishing sixth at the Incheon Asian Games in 2014.
“I did not have a good 2015 ... I missed the world meet in Kazan with a chest muscle injury. I rested for quite some time, but I have fully recovered.
“I want to try and get into the Olympics,” said the Perak-born Kevin, a gold medallist in the men’s 400m freestyle at the 2011 Indonesia SEA Games.
Kevin has also been overshadowed by the rise of the 18-year-old Welson, who has become the fastest Malaysian for the men’s 400m freestyle since last year.
Kevin held the previous national record of 3:53.26, set at the 2013 Malaysian Open in Bukit Jalil. Welson bettered it by clocking 3:52.83 at the World Cup meet in Doha in November.
At the Luxembourg Euro Meet, Welson will focus on the men’s 200m and 400m freestyle events while Jinq En and Erika will compete in the 50m, 100m and 200m women’s breaststroke. Cai Lin will make a bid to improve on her personal best in the women’s 400m and 800m freestyle.