Saturday, 7 May 2016

The Star : Shaken Cai Lin toughs it out for 400m freestyle gold


SHAH ALAM: Khoo Cai Lin capped a gritty return to the pool two days after a car accident to win the women’s 400m freestyle in the Malaysian Open Swimming Champi­onships at the Shah Alam Aquatic Centre.

Khoo Cai Lin swimming to a gold medal in the women’s 400m freestyle at the Malaysian Open. - MUHAMAD SHAHRIL ROSLI / The Star

Despite still feeling pain on her shoulders due to the accident, the seasoned Malaysian swimmer managed to come out tops at the end of the eight-lap race in 4:20.43 on Saturday.

Raina Saumi Grahana of Indonesia took the silver in 4:24.54 with her compatriot Sagita Putri Krisdewanti settling for the bronze in 4:28.30.

Selangor-born Cai Lin did not break her meet record of 4:16.83 set in the 2014 edition.

She said she was badly shaken by the accident when her two-day old Honda Jazz car was hit on the side by a bus on Thursday.

“I was getting ready to drive out of the venue when the bus suddenly hit me on the side.

“The driver said the brakes malfunctioned while he was coming down the slope. I am still traumatised.

“I managed to retain the 400m title, but the timing was not quite what I expected. I was looking at 4:18.

“I still have the 800m frestyle and I will try my best to dip under the Olympic B time (8:51.95) tomorrow,” said 27-year-old Cai Lin, who already posted the Olympic B time of 4:17.79 at the Singapore SEA Games last year.

Rio Olympic-bound swimmer Welson Sim also came out tops in his pet race on Saturday.

The 19-year-old Sarawakian won the men’s 400m freestyle in 3:53.74 ahead of India’s Sajan Prakash (3:58.08) and Indonesia’s Aflah Fadlan Prawira (3:58.71).

It was the second gold for Welson, having won the 200m freestyle on Friday.

Welson, however, was not happy with the outcome.

“I was trying to break my team-mate Kevin Yeap’s meet record (3:53.26). I can definitely swim faster than this but there was no pressure today.

“I still have the 1,500m freestyle tomorrow. I will try to break the meet record (15:32.51) held by Kevin,” said Welson, who will compete in the Olympics in August after breaking the A times in both the 200m and 400m freestyle.

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