Tuesday, 7 June 2016

The Star : Jinq En swims to historic gold in Monaco


PETALING JAYA: Teenager Phee Jinq En made swimming history for Malaysia after powering to gold in the women’s 50m breaststroke event at the Mare Nostrum Tour in Monaco.

The 18-year-old came out tops in a head-to-head duel with World Championship finalist Marina Garcia Urzainqui of Spain on Sunday evening, posting 31.66 to smash her own national record of 31.80 set at the World Cup meet in Dubai last November.

The Spanish swimmer clocked 32.51 for the silver. Jinq En and Urzainqui were the finalists after clocking 31.99 and 32.18 in the semi-final heat.

The 50m breaststroke is part of the Speed Tournament (also for the 50m freestyle, butterfly and backstroke races).

Jinq En is the first Malaysian to make the top of the podium in a European swimming meet and is, undeniably, delighted to go one better after taking silver in the 100m breaststroke on Saturday.

Altogether, she swam five 50m races over two days.

“I didn’t expect this timing, this was my fifth sprinting race in two days, plus I had to swim two 100m and another 200m breaststroke in the morning. So, basically I was burnt out.

“But once I put on my goggles and dived in the water, I just sprinted to the finish,” said Jinq En, the SEA Games gold medallist in Singapore last year.

There was more joy as Rio Olympic-bound Welson Sim clinched bronze in the company of world-class opposition in the 200m freestyle A final.

The 19-year-old posted 1:49.29 to take bronze ahead of South Africa’s Devon Brown, who finished in 1:49.67.

Olympic and Commonwealth champion Chad Le Clos of South Africa just beat Welson to the silver in 1:49.28.

Paul Biedermann of Germany, the world record holder in the event, took gold in 1:46.71.

Welson took silver in the 400m freestyle on Saturday.

Wong Fu Kang and Erika Kong made the B finals for men’s 100m breaststroke and women’s 200m breaststroke and finished seventh (1:04.79) and third (2:39.53).

The next two meets are in Canet-en-Roussillon, France (June 8-9) and in Barcelona, Spain (June 11-12).

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