Saturday, 6 May 2017

The Star : Jian Han bags a double with win in 100m backstroke

MALACCA: Malaysia have yet to produce a top backstroke swimmer since Lim Keng Liat quit after the 2006 Asian Games in Doha.

But Malaysia may have finally found an able replacement in Tern Jian Han.

The 22-year-old splashed to his second gold medal in the Malaysia Open Swimming Championships at the Hang Jebat Aquatic Centre in Malacca yesterday.

Johor-born Jian Han posted a personal best of 56.95 in the men’s 100m backstroke final to achieve the double after coming out tops in the 50m backstroke on Thursday.

Thailand’s Kasipat Chograthin took silver in the men’s 100m backstroke final in 58.43 while Indonesia’s Rai Wratsangka Adityastha got the bronze in 59.60.

Jian Han, who has been in the national team since 2011, was delighted to continue with his good form.

He had also chalked up a personal best of 26.12 in the 50m backstroke. His time is not too far off Keng Liat’s national mark of 25.67 set in winning silver at the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002.

“I’m happy with my time in the 100m backstroke ... this is the first time I’ve gone under 57 seconds.

“I did 58.20 in the Singapore national age-group in March, so I am swimming faster,” said Jian Han, who will be making his fourth SEA Games appearance in Kuala Lumpur from Aug 19-30.

With tougher rivals expected at the SEA Games, the Universiti Malaya second-year Sports Science student will have his work cut out for him.

Singapore’s Quah Zheng Wen set a new SEA Games record in winning the event in his backyard in 54.51 two years ago.

“I hope to win my first SEA Games individual medal. Hopefully, I can improve on my endurance as I tend to fade away in the last 25m,” said Jian Han, who took bronze as part of the 4x100m medley quartet in the 2013 SEA Games in Myanmar.


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