Tuesday, 26 July 2016

The Star : A golden summer holiday for Daniel in Kuching


Daniel Lim in action in the men's 200m breaststroke. - FAIHAN GHANI / The Star
KUCHING: What a summer holiday it has turned out to be for Selangor swimmer Daniel Lim Jun Liang!

The 20-year-old, who’s of Malaysian-Scottish parentage, has marked his Sukma debut in Kuching by etching his name into the record books.

The unheralded Daniel made heads turn at the Sarawak Aquatic Centre when he stunned the more illustrious Wong Fu Kang to the 200m breaststroke gold medal – and smashed Sukma’s oldest record, which was held by Elvin Chia.

The Selangor swimmer’s time of 2:19.12 erased Elvin’s old mark of 2:19.17, which was set at the Pahang Sukma in 1996 – the year Daniel was born!

“I’m extremely pleased with that!” said Daniel, who is studying mechanical engineering at the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

“I’ve never done a Sukma before, so it was a great experience. I came here expecting nothing, but just to swim a better time.

“My personal best is actually 2:19.00, which I did during the Malaysian Open last year.”

Daniel’s latest effort means that the last of former Asian Games bronze medallist Elvin’s record has been obliterated after another of his 20-year-old mark in the 100m breaststroke had been erased by Fu Kang last Saturday.

Daniel returned to the pool shortly after to power the Selangor relay team to the 4x200m victory. The quartet of Daniel, Tan Yun Hung, Jordan Yip and Yeap Zheng Yang clocked 7:43.67 to shatter Welson Sim-led Sarawak’s previous mark of 7:47.31.

Before, Daniel had also won a silver (50m breaststroke) and a bronze (100m breaststroke) as well as being in the quartet that clinched the 4x100m freestyle gold.

Selangor’s Chan Jie was the other star performer of the day.

The 21-year-old butterfly specialist retained his 100m title convincingly – with an improved 54.80 to erase his own previous Sukma record of 55.04.

Yap Siew Hui (women’s 50m butterfly) and Zheng Yang (men’s 400m freestyle) bagged two more golds as Selangor took their gold medal tally to 16 at the end of the penultimate day of the swimming competition.

They have now surpassed the 11-gold haul at the Perlis Games two years ago.

Hosts Sarawak also stamped their mark by winning three gold medals.

Angela Chieng (400m freestyle) and Erika Kong (200m breaststroke) won their events before returning to anchor their 4x200m freestyle relay team to victory together with Cindy Sui and Leong Wan Mei.

The swimming competition ends Wednesday, with seven golds up for grabs.

Sarawak's Anglea Chieng, Erika Kong, Cindy Sui and Leong Wan Mei celebrate their victory in the 4x200m freestyle relay. - FAIHAN GHANI / The Star

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