BY LIM TEIK HUAT
|Jinq En (centre) with silver medallist Erika Kong (right) and bronze medallist Vanessa Evato (left) on the podium in the Malaysian Open swimming championships. - SAMUEL ONG / The Star|
SHAH ALAM: For someone so slender, breaststroke swimmer Phee Jinq En continues to defy the odds as she enhanced her Rio de Janeiro Olympic chances.
The 18-year-old smashed her own national record, set only two months ago, to provide the only golden splash by a local swimmer in the Malaysian Open Swimming Championships at the Shah Alam Aquatic Centre on Thursday.
Jinq En made a strong start and never looked back as she won the 100m breaststroke final in 1:08.65.
It not only erased Hong Kongswimmer Yvette Kong’s record of 1:09.04 set in the morning heats, but also improved on her own national mark of 1:08.99 set at the Singapore national age-group meet in March.
Erika settled for silver in 1:12.26 while Indonesia’s Vanessa Evato took bronze in 1:13.06.
More importantly, Jinq En of Selangor continued to improve on her Olympic B time for the Rio Olympics.
The Olympic B cut is 1:10.22.
“I felt good and I was expecting to break my personal best in the final. I’m glad I finished strongly as I was tired going into the last 25 metres.
“It was an exhausting swim, but I’m glad I reached my goal of improving on my Olympic B timing,” said Jinq En, who made her SEA Games debut by taking gold in Singapore last year.
Next on her agenda is Olympic A time of 1:07.85.
“I will be going for three meets in Europe next month to try to achieve the A time. It’s not easy to slash one second, but I’m not setting any limits to what I can do,” said Jinq En.
“I’m not physically well-built for a swimmer, but it’s more of mental thing ... other than to train hard.
“You have to believe you can pull it off.”
Rio Olympic-bound swimmer Welson Sim warmed up for his pet 200m freestyle race on Friday by taking silver in the 100m freestyle in 50.64.
Indonesia’s Triady Fauzi Sidiq took the gold in 50.36.
Wong Fu Kang failed to retain his men’s 100m breaststroke gold after clocking 1:03.52 for the bronze medal.
Phuket-based Fu Kang also lost the meet record of 1:02.56 he set last year to India’s Sandeep Sejwal, who won in 1:02.45.
100m freestyle: 1. Triady Fauzi Sidiq (Ina) 50.36, 2. Welson Sim (Swk) 50.64, 3. Aaron D’Souza (Ind) 50.98.
100m breaststroke: 1. Sandeep Sejwal (Ind) 1:02.45 meet rec, 2. Kwok Ka Fai (Hkg) 1:02.99, 3. Wong Fu Kang (Joh) 1:03.52.
200m butterfly: 1. Supriya Mondal (Ind) 2:00.54, 2. Muhammad Hamgari (Ina) 2:03.06, 3. Ayman Klezi (Syr) 2:03.80.
400m IM: 1. Ricky Anggawidjaja (Ina) 4:36.63, 2. Alex Tiong (Swk) 4:42.66, 3. Arvin Shaun Singh (Ter) 4:44.49.
4x100m medley: 1. Indonesia 3:45.49 meet rec, 2. Hong Kong 3:49.34, 3. Selangor 3:58.42.
100m freestyle: 1. Camille Cheng (Hkg) 55.34 meet rec, 2. Chan Kin Lok (Hkg) 57.87, 3. Sagita Putri Krisdewanti (Ina) 58.05.
100m breaststroke: 1. Phee Jinq En (Sel) 1:08.65 national and meet rec, 2. Erika Kong (Swk) 1:12.26, 3. Vanessa Evato (Ina) 1:13.06.
200m butterfly: 1. Raina Saumi Grahana (Ina) 2:19.62, 2. Nicholle Toh (Sin) 2:19.79, 3. Azzahra Permatahani (Ina) 2:20.91.
400m IM: 1. Phiangkhwan Pawapotako (Tha) 4:55.28, 2. Azzahra Permatahani (Ina) 4:58.49, 3. Ressa Kania Dewi (Ina) 5:01.31.
4x100m medley: 1. Hong Kong 4:03.16 meet rec, 2. Indonesia 4:23.23, 3. Selangor 4:28.58.
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