Tuesday, 24 December 2013

The NST : Khairy wants special focus

REVIVE: NSC to work with associations to rebuild athletics, swimming

SPORTS Minister Khairy Jamaluddin wants the athletics and swimming unions to work with the National Sports Council (NSC) to focus on establishing Malaysia as a powerhouse in the region for both sports.

Khairy, who urged the NSC to carry out a post-mortem on  the drop in performance of both sports, including at the Myanmar Sea Games, wants special programmes to be initiated for the development of both sports.

"I do not want to elaborate on what has happened. As the sports minister I want to look forward and find ways to restore Malaysia as a regional powerhouse," he said in a Facebook posting yesterday.

He said among steps to be taken by the NSC would be to increase development programmes at state and district levels to identify talent as well as improve the quality of coaches through the National Coaching Academy and engage foreign expertise for certain events.

Khairy also expressed his disappointment over  the dismal performances of sepak takraw and badminton.

"I have also announced NSC's preparedness to assist the Sepak Takraw Association of Malaysia (PSM) in efforts to 'rescue' the sport. I hope they (PSM) will work with the NSC to introduce special programmes aimed at winning the gold medal at the 2017 Sea Games that Malaysia will be hosting," he said.

Khairy said though the Malaysian contingent had surpassed the 40-gold medal target set for the Sea Games by winning 43 gold, 38 silver and 77 bronze medals, in reality  Malaysia finished in fifth place behind Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Khairy  applauded the success of the backup squad athletes who managed to win nine gold, four silver and 12 bronze medals, the highest in the history of their participation in the Games.

"I have asked the NSC to increase the number of programmes involving backup squad athletes so that we need not be burdened to look for replacement when elite athletes are not available or when they decide to retire," he said.

Read more: Khairy wants special focus - Other - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/sports/other/khairy-wants-special-focus-1.444062#ixzz2oZlgDWqz

The Star : Starsport: A SEA Games review


PETALING JAYA: Malaysia surpassed their 40 gold-medal target for the Myanmar SEA Games by three golds. It wasn’t the nation’s best performance by far, but some sports contributed its fair share to the tally, while others flattered to deceive. STARSPORT take a look at how Malaysia performed in a sport-by-sport review.

1. ARCHERY (2 golds, 3 silvers, 1 bronze)

Khairul Anuar Mohd was the hero, winning both the golds. He was victorious in the individual and team recurve events. The women archers, however, were a letdown.

2. ATHLETICS (4-6-3)

IT was the worst-ever outing by our track and field athletes since 1959. Mohd Jironi Riduan was the saviour, winning the men’s 800m and 1,500m golds. Youngster Muhammad Irfan Shamsuddin (men’s discus) and Navraj Singh Randhawa (men’s high jump) delivered the other two golds. Like archery, the women athletes also failed to hit the summit.


SWIMMING (4-4-3)

Daniel Bego, Khoo Cai Lin and Christina Loh delivered delivered again with splashing shows in the pool. Christina delivered two while Cai Lin and Daniel nicked one each. It was a great comeback by Daniel, who just returned recently from a shoulder surgery.

DIVING (8-3-1)

The only team with a perfect record – winning all the eight golds at stake. Ooi Tze Liang was the undisputable star, bagging three golds. He won the men’s individual 3m springboard and then partnered Ahmad Amsyar Azman to the 3m springboard synchro title. Tze Liang’s last gold came in the 10m platform synchro with Muhammad Nazreen Abdullah.

WATER POLO (0-0-0)

The men’s team were the first Malaysians to arrive in Myanmar. And they were the first to leave the country after failing to make the semi-finals.

4. BADMINTON (1-0-3)

WOON Khe Wei-Vivian Hoo spared Malaysia the blushes by winning the women’s doubles gold. Overall, there was nothing to shout about with Chong Wei Feng suffering an embarrassing first round defeat in the men’s singles.

5. BASKETBALL (0-0-1)

THE national men’s team got off to a bright start but failed to keep their momentum and crashed out from the competition. The women’s team did better as they retained the bronze medal.


THE Malaysian Snooker and Billiards Federation (MSBF) were only reinstated in July following a one-year suspension. Overall, the cueists did well to deliver the goods. Thor Chuan Leong potted the only gold by winning the snooker six red event. He bagged the bronze in the snooker doubles with Moh Keen Hoo.


Everyone was expecting nine-time Mr Universe Sazali Samad to deliver the gold in the lightweight category. But he could only manage to clinch a silver. Debutant Wong Hong came to the rescue, winning the light heavyweight gold.

8. BOXING (0-1-3)

G. RAMKUMAR was the only Malaysian to reach the final. He lasted less than a minute against Thai Apichet Saenset in the first round, suffering a technical knockout.

9. CANOEING (0-0-1)

MALAYSIA have never done well in the sport. Siti Rajah Ali was the sole medallist, bagging a bronze in the women’s K1 200m.

10. CHESS (0-0-1)

MALAYSIA managed to return home with a bronze through Kugan Ravindran, Genkeswaran Muniyan, Mok Tze Meng, Mok Khye Zen in the men’s team traditional rapid event.

11. CHINLONE (0-0-6)

IT was Malaysia’s first outing in the event. They served a pleasant surprise by bagging six bronzes. Hosts Myanmar stole the show, winning six out of the eight golds at stake.

12. CYCLING (0-1-1)

THE road cycling team were supposed to clinch the gold, but they were a letdown. They could only manage a silver.

13. EQUESTRIAN (3-0-0)

No target was set for the team, but they exceeded expectations by winning three golds. Mohd Sulaiman Muda was the outstanding performer, winning the 80km endurance individual and team golds. Teenager Praveen Nair Mathavan also had a dream debut, winning gold in the dressage individual.

14. FOOTBALL (0-0-0)

IT was an embarrassing outing for the men’s team, who were the defending champions. They were sent overseas for tournaments and training stints, but still failed to get on the podium. The women’s team qualified for the semi-finals after an 18-year lapse. But they were humiliated 4-0 by Vietnam in the last four.

15. FUTSAL (0-0-1)

THE women’s team, making their second appearance, fulfilled their target by winning the bronze. In their first outing in Korat in 2007, they returned home empty handed. The men’s team failed to win a single match. They were held to a 4-4 draw by hosts Myanmar and lost 5-4 to Indonesia.

16. GOLF (0-1-1)

EXPECTATIONS were high on US-based Gavin Kyle Green to end Malaysia’s gold drought. But he could only manage a silver in the men’s individual event. Gavin also picked up a bronze in the men’s team event. The Malaysian women’s team finished empty handed when best-bet Michelle Koh flopped.

17. HOCKEY (2-0-0).

MALAYSIA have no peers in South-East Asia when it comes to hockey. It came as no surprise that both the men’s and women’s teams strolled to victory. The men’s team strolled to the gold without conceding a single goal.

18. JUDO (0-0-6)

MALAYSIA last won a gold in 1979. Not much was expected of the team but there were complaints of biased judging. But it is a fact that the Malaysians are still lagging behind the rest of the South-East Asian countries.

19. KARATE (7-3-5)

THE second most successful sport after diving. The exponents won five golds in kumite and two in kata. The good news is that most of the exponents will be around for the next Games in Singapore in 2015.

20. MUAY (2-0-3)

ONE of the sports to over-achieve at the Games. Mohd Lokman Akimi Mat Raji (51kg) and Mohd Faizal Ramli (75kg) were the heroes.

21. PENCAK SILAT (2-1-3)

THE team achieved their two-gold target. But they could have won at least one more gold if not for biased judging.

22. PETANQUE (0-0-5)

THE team did slightly better than the four-bronze haul at the 2011 Games in Indonesia.

23. SAILING (2-3-3)

IT was a respectable showing by the sailing team. They delivered two golds through Ahmad Shukri Abdul Aziz-Mohd Faizal Norizan in the International 420 and Khairulnizam Mohd Afendy in the men’s laser standard.

24. SEPAKTAKRAW (0-1-2)

A REAL embarrassment for Malaysia. The Sepaktakraw Association of Malaysia (STAM) need to buck up to stop the rot.

25. SHOOTING (1-3-4)

DEBUTANT Eddy Chew saved the day, winning the gold in the men’s 50m free pistol. Overall, it was a poor show from the shooters.

26.TABLE TENNIS (0-0-3)

NOT much were expected from the paddlers. Veteran Beh Lee Wei, playing in her last Games, contributed two bronzes. The other bronze came from the men’s team, led by Mohd Shakirin Ibrahim.

27. TAEKWONDO (0-1-5)

SOME of the exponents suffered stage fright and lost badly, partly due to the lack of exposure. The Malaysian Taekwondo Association (MTA) were banking on seasoned campaigner Ryan Chong to deliver the gold, but he lost in the final.

28. VOLLEYBALL (0-0-0)

NO medal to show yet again. The last time volleyball delivered a medal for Malaysia was during the Kuala Lumpur Games in 2001 when the men’s team won the silver.


THE national lifters were totally outclassed by their competitors. Malaysia only managed to end their medal drought on the last day of competition.

30. WUSHU (3-5-6)

WUSHU gave Malaysia a good head-start, winning three golds even before the official start of the Games. Phoon Eyin stole the show, winning Malaysia’s 1,000th SEA Games gold. It could have delivered more if not for some questionable judging.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The Star : Malaysian swimming is finding its SEA legs

NAYPYITAW: They may have contributed one more gold than what was promised to the National Sports Council (NSC) but this did nothing to hide the fact that the standard of Malaysian swimming has declined compared to our neighbours.

It was only two or three SEA Games back that Malaysia were battling the likes of Singapore for the overall champion’s tag but those days are long gone.

The four gold medals coming from Christina Loh (women’s 100m and 200m breaststroke), Khoo Cai Lin (women’s 800m freestyle) and Daniel Bego (men’s 400m freestyle) put Malaysia in fifth place behind Vietnam (5-5-2), Indonesia (5-6-4), Thailand (7-8-8) and, as expected, Singapore (11-9-10).

There were fewer silver and bronze medals earned this time compared to the last SEA Games where Malaysia took home 5-10-3.

The absence of the experienced Siow Yi Ting meant Malaysia could not mount a challenge for the 200m and 400m individual medley events like in the past SEA Games.

There were only five women swimmers in the team this time and there were no backstrokers and sprinters either.

Swimmers like Cai Lin and Daniel have already contributed gold medals for the last four SEA Games and they are also reaching the twilight of their swimming careers, so it is crucial to blood the next batch of juniors to fill the vacuum when their seniors decide to call it quits in the near future.

But it is not all gloom for Malaysian swimming.

Christina Loh emerged as the new breaststroke queen for the region and showed she can be depended on to maintain Malaysia’s proud record in the discipline.

It is also worth noting that Malaysia have an emerging talent in Yap Siew Hui in the butterfly discipline.

Siew Hui posted a personal best time in nearly snagging a medal in her SEA Games debut in the 100m butterfly.

Only 16, she should be stronger and faster to fight for medals in the next few editions. The region’s top butterfly swimmer Tao Li of Singapore should still be around when her country host the next SEA Games in two years’ time but Siew Hui will be at her peak to challenge for the gold when it is Malaysia’s turn in 2017.

Most encouraging is the fact that there are several youngsters waiting to come up in the Malaysian swimming team.

The likes of Welson Sim, Lim Ching Hwang, Tern Jian Han, Wong Fu Kang and Shaun Yap are in the age bracket of 15-18, so they should be around to make the team for future SEA Games.

There were four or five male sprinters this time around, so it was not surprising that Malaysia clinched two silver medals in both the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle events in new national record times.

Swimming coach Paul Birmingham said it is not just about gold medals; it is also important to look at the bigger picture when assessing the swimmers’ performance at the Games, especially in terms of athlete development.

”We have a lot of young athletes who benefited from going for their first big Games.

”I know everyone is big on the number of gold medals and I understand, but we must look deeper than that.

”I also look closely at individual performances and who can better their personal bests.

”If you keep working on that, eventually at some point, it will hopefully be good enough for gold in future editions.

”A lot of our swimmers are also looking at qualifying for the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games and they can work towards reaching that as well,” he said.

We are no.1. Amanda Lim of Singapore celebrates after winning the 50m freestyle final to contribute to the republic's 11 gold medal haul at the Myanmar SEA Games to emerge as the top swimming nation. - The STAR

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The NST : SWIMMING: Costly error

LATE PUSH: Vietnamese Quy Phuoc’s aggression pays off as Bego gets silver

A MISTAKE in strategy  denied Daniel Bego his second gold medal on the final day of the swimming competition in Naypyitaw yesterday.

Daniel, however, still managed to equal his season best in the 200m freestyle by finishing the race in 1:51.10 seconds for the silver medal.

 Vietnam's Hoang Quy Phuoc, who was edged by Bego for the 400m freestyle title two days ago, won the gold in 1:50.64 while Singapore's Quah Zheng Wen touched the wall in third spot in 1:51.66.

The Sarawak-born said Quy Phuoc swam a smart race by being aggressive from the start.

"I made a mistake by allowing him to get away in the opening 150 metres. I also kicked a bit late in one of the laps. I could have done better but am still satisfied with my race as I equalled my season best timing," said Bego at the Wunna Theikdi Aquatic Centre.

 "I was confident going into the race but Quy Phuoc was aggressive as he was determined to beat me.  It is, however, a good end to my season in the Sea Games."

Bego's one gold and three silver effort on his return to the Sea Games augurs well for Malaysia ahead of upcoming competitions. His performance here will motivate him to achieve greater heights with the Incheon Asian Games being his main target next year.

The 24-year-old was close to retiring from swimming following three shoulder injuries, which forced him out of the last edition in Indonesia, two years ago.

Bego was Malaysia's only medallist yesterday as others failed to make the podium despite giving their best.

Malaysia ended their campaign with a haul of four gold, four silver and two bronze, which exceeded the Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia's (ASUM) target of three titles.

Aquatics is expecting a clean sweep of eight gold from the four-day diving event, which starts tomorrow.

Daniel Bego competing in the 200m freestyle final at the Wunna Theikdi Aquatic Centre yesterday. (Inset) Bego with his silver medal.

The NST : SWIMMING: Philippines protest lost title

MANILA: The Philippines said yesterday it had protested a decision by officials at the Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar to strip a Filipina swimmer of her gold medal, the latest controversy surrounding the Games.

   The move comes after the Philippines questioned the huge number of obscure  sports at the Myanmar Games which seem designed to ensure that the host country and its allies reap the most medals.

   The Philippine Olympic Committee in a statement said it had sent a letter asking that Filipina swimmer Jasmine Alkhaldi be given back her gold.

   Jasmine, 20, won the 100 metre freestyle on Thursday, but it was quickly taken back after Thailand protested, saying there had been a "false start."

 A re-swim was then ordered the following day, in which Jasmine came in third behind swimmers from Thailand and Singapore, respectively.

   A member of the Philippines' Sea Games task force said the "re-swim" had put the Filipina at a disadvantage.

   "You cannot regain that adrenaline from the first final swim. The momentum  of our athletes was diminished," said task force member Paul Ycasas.

   The head of the Philippine mission to the Myanmar Games Jeff Tamayo also said the order for a "re-swim" did not follow the rules set up by Fina  (International Swimming Federation), the sport's governing body.

   "The settlement of Thailand's protest by calling for a re-swim is simply out of order," Tamayo said in a statement.

   The Philippines' head swimming coach, Carlos Brosas also charged that Singaporeans who dominate the region's swimming federation, had favoured the "re-swim" and had already advised him that the Philippines' protest would be unsuccessful.

   "The guys that really run the show, the bigwigs so to speak, are Singaporeans," Brosas said in a statement from Myanmar.

   He said Friday's "re-swim" had benefited the Singaporeans as well which  may explain why they favoured it.

  Philippines had dispatched a contingent of only 210 to Myanmar, one of its  smallest ever to the competition, due to the large number of obscure Games and the removal of more popular sports.

   Philippine sports officials had previously considered sending only a "token" group or even boycotting the Myanmar Games entirely. AFP

Read more: SWIMMING: Philippines protest lost title - Other - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/sports/other/swimming-philippines-protest-lost-title-1.435190?cache=03%2F7.30106%2F7.253141%3Fkey%3DKuala+Lumpur#ixzz2ngujhTYt

The Star : A silver ending for Bego at the pool

NAYPYITAW: Daniel Bego could have delivered a golden flourish for Malaysia if not for a poor start on the final day of the SEA Games swimming competition at the Wunna Theikdi Aquatic Center on Monday.

The 24-year-old did not start well and it put paid to his chances of reclaiming his men’s 200m freestyle title in the end as he settled for silver with 1:51.10.

Daniel Bego (pic) settled for the silver after losing the 200m freestyle race to Vietnam's Hoang Quy Phuoc on the final day of the SEA Games swimming competition on Monday. - Filepic

Vietnam’s Hoang Quy Phuoc, who was beaten to second place by Daniel in the 400m freestyle final two days ago, turned the tables on the Malaysian by taking gold in 1:50.64.

The Vietnamese swimmer is not an unknown challenger, having won a double in the 100m freestyle and butterfly events in Palembang two years ago.

Daniel advanced to the final as the fastest qualifier after clocking 1:57.10 in the morning.

Daniel, who had to miss the previous SEA Games in Palembang to recover from shoulder injuries, gave his best effort but it was just not his day in the end.

“I made a poor start while the Vietnamese winner raced smartly.

“He was able to get away and it was hard for me to chase him down by the last 50m.

“Anyway, I am happy to finish my comeback SEA Games with one gold and three silver medals,” said the Sarawakian who won his other silvers in the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle events.

Malaysia thus ended the five-day swimming 4-4-2. Khoo Cai Lin defended her 800m freestyle title while Christina Loh splashed to a double in the women’s 100m and 200m breaststroke.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien claimed her third gold of the SEA Games in style, setting a new record of 4:46.16 in the women’s 400m individual medley.

Amanda Lim of Singapore denied Thailand’s Natthan Junkrajang from a triple gold success in the freestyle disciplines. Amanda touched home for victory in 25.59 in the 50m event while Natthanan, who won the 100m and 200m freestyle earlier, was second in 25.80.

The Star : Schooling graduates with flying colours at SEA Games


NAYPYITAW: Daniel Bego used to be his idol but how the tables have turned as swimmer Joseph Schooling emerged as the star athlete of Singapore with five golds in the bag, four in record times, as the Myanmar SEA Games swimming competition concluded here on Monday.

The 18-year-old duly retained his 200m butterfly title but missed out on a fifth, taking silver in the 4x100m medley.

Schooling was victorious in the 100m butterfly, 200m individual medley, 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle in new record times.

The 200m butterfly was the only individual event in which he did not set a new Games record. Nevertheless, Schooling has more than left his mark in Naypyitaw.

He recalled watching Daniel splash to five golds at the Laos SEA Games in 2009.

“He used to be my idol when I was younger and used to watch him swim. I did not swim at the SEA Games then,” said the US-based swimmer, who is studying at the Bolles School, which is the alma mater of former Malaysian top backstroker Alex Lim Keng Liat.

Schooling made his debut in Palembang two years ago where he won the 50m butterfly apart from the longer 200m race. The 50m butterfly event was not contested in Myanmar this time but that did not stop Schooling from making his presence felt.

“We may swim for ourselves, but there is something bigger than us, and that is Singapore.

“This is a regional meet and Singaporeans are watching and backing me.

“To finish with five golds is just phenomenal,” said Schooling, who is his country’s National Sportsman for 2012.

Schooling has a lofty ambition to realise – to become an Olympic champion in his pet butterfly stroke.

It is not wishful thinking on his part as he was the only swimmer from the region to qualify under the “A” time standard for the London Olympics last year in the 200m butterfly.

Schooling, who stands at 1.70m tall and is still growing, failed to make the semi-finals in his event in London but vowed to come back stronger in Rio in three years’ time.

He is currently in the top five in the all-time rankings in his age group in the US, considered the top swimming country in the world.

In the 100m butterfly, his personal best time of 52.33 is ranked second behind 18-time Olympic champion Michael Phelps (51.10). He is also ranked third in 200m butterfly (1:56.27) and fifth in the 200m individual medley (1:59.99).

It is no wonder that Singapore granted Schooling a long term deferment from National Service to enable him to focus fully on achieving his Rio dream.

He will be attending the University of Texas in Austin next year on a scholarship where he will be trained by Eddie Reese, who coached the US Olympic swimming teams from 1992 to 2012.

And yesterday Joseph showed just why he is worthy of the special treatment from the Singapore government.

Singapore's Joseph Schooling (centre) has emerged as the star swimmer at the Myanmar SEA Games with five gold medals. - AFP

Monday, 16 December 2013

Berita Harian : Christina Loh sedia ganti Yi Ting

Nay Pyi Taw: Christina Loh membuktikan dia sudah bersedia mengisi kekosongan ditinggalkan Siow Yi Ting selepas mempertahankan emas dalam acara 200 meter (m) kuak dada wanita negara di Kompleks Sukan Wunna Theikdi, semalam.
Christina Loh

Ia emas kedua peribadi buat perenang kelahiran Pulau Pinang itu di Myanmar dengan catatan 2 minit 32.56 saat, diikuti perenang Thailand, Chanvunnooch Salubluek, perak manakala perenang Singapura, Louisa Yeo gangsa.

"Saya agak terkejut pada mulanya namun gembira kerana mampu untuk menggantikan tugas Yi Ting yang sentiasa menyumbang emas buat negara dalam acara ini selama ini.

"Ada sedikit tekanan kerana sebelum ini saya selalu berenang bersama Yi Ting jadi saya berharap saya dapat mengekalkan prestasi ini.

"Ia juga masa terbaik peribadi, saya memang amat gembira," katanya yang sebelum ini memenangi emas dalam acara 100m kuak dada, kelmarin sekali gus menyamai pencapaian Yi Ting dua tahun lalu.

Begitupun, Christina tidak dapat mengekalkan emas yang dimenanginya di Indonesia apabila acara 50m kuak dada tidak dipertandingkan di Myanmar kali ini.

Begitupun, harapan negara untuk menambah sebutir emas gagal terlaksana apabila penyandang juara dalam acara 1,500m gaya bebas lelaki dua tahun lalu, Kevin Yeap sekadar meraih perak.
Selain sebutir emas dan perak, Malaysia turut menambah tiga lagi gangsa dalam acara 4x100m rampaian wanita, Yap See Tuan (200m kuak dada) dan 1,500 m gaya bebas menerusi Welson Sim.

The NST : SWIMMING: Breaststroke queen

INCREDIBLE: Christina turns on the power in the last 50 metres

  CHRISTINA Loh can now be anointed Siow Yi Ting's successor as Malaysia's breaststroke queen after successfully defending the retired star's two titles at the Sea Games yesterday.

  Having won the 100m event on Friday, the 18-year-old Christina swam to a personal best of 2:32.56s in the 200m with an incredible spurt in the last 50 metres.

  Christina, who won the 50m breaststroke in 2011 in Palembang, improved on her previous best time of 2:33.03.

  "I'm quite surprised but happy (to win both gold medals)," said a beaming Christina after the medal presentation at the Wunna Theikdi Aquatic Centre.

  "To be able to take over from Yi Ting is incredible. She had been winning for so many years so I'm very happy."

  Christina was trailing in third place for most of the race but at the 150m turn, she overhauled Thailand's Chavunnooch Salubluek (2:34.21) and Singapore's Samantha Yeo (2:34.27).

  "That had been my plan," said Christina. "I was not too nervous (as before the 100m) and I tried to swim a smart race."

  Christina's victory took swimming's tally so far to four gold, surpassing their target by one, with one day of action remaining.

Christina Loh won the 200m breaststroke yesterday.

  Malaysia missed out on winning another gold when Kevin Yeap had to be satisfied with silver in the men's 1,500m freestyle in a time of 15:45.89s with Vietnam's Lam Quang Nhat taking gold in 15:39.44.
  Kevin had the faster personal best going into the event but the Vietnamese swimmer turned on the power from almost the start to shatter his own best time by six seconds.

  Teammate Welson Sim came through for bronze while Yap See Tuan also took bronze in the men's 200m breaststroke as did the women's 4x100m medley quartet.

RESULTS - Men's 50m freestyle: 1 Triady Fauzi Sidiq (Ina) 23.12s (GR), 2 Russell Ong (Sin) 23.14, 3 Gavin Lewis (Tha) 23.41, 4 Lim Ching Hwang (Mas) 23.54;
1,500m freestyle: Lam Quang Nhat (Vie) 15:39.44s, 2 Kevin Yeap (Mas) 15:45.89, 3 Welson Sim (Mas) 15:57.98;
200m breaststroke: 1 Nuttapong Ketin (Tha) 2:13.32s, 2 Radomyos Matjiur (Tha) 2:17.77, 3 Yap See Tuan (Mas) 2:18.57;
Women's 200m freestyle: 1 Natthanan Junkrajang (Tha) 2:01.03s, 2 Quah Ting Wen (Sin) 2:01.74, 3 Lynette Lim (Sin) 2:02.62;
200m breaststroke: 1 Christina Loh (Mas) 2:32.56s, 2 Chavunnooch Salubluek (Tha) 2:34.21, 3 Samantha Yeo (Sin) 2:34.27... 5 Nadia Adrianna Redza Goh (Mas) 2:39.10;
4x100m medley: 1 Singapore 4:13.02s, 2 Thailand 4:15.52, 3 Malaysia 4:17.77.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

The Star : Swimmer Christina bags another gold


Christina Loh flashes a smile just after winning the 100m breaststroke event on Friday. She won the gold again on Sunday in the 200m breaststroke.

Christina Loh claimed her double in SEA games swimming, clocking 2:32.56 in women 200m breaststroke at Wunna Theikdi aquatic center on Sunday.

Christina had won the 100m breaststroke stitle on Friday.

Thailand’s Salublek Chavunooch took silver with 2:34.21 while Samantha Yeo of Singapore took the bronze with 2:40.83.

The NST : Gold rush now at 18

EXCITING: Karate, swimming, badminton, equestrian push up tally

FOUR gold medals from karate was the highlight yesterday as four more from swimming, badminton and equestrian took Malaysia's total to 18, halfway through the target of 40 set by the National Sports Council.

Swimmers Daniel Bego and Khoo Cai Lin, dressage rider Praveen Nair Mathavan and badminton pair Vivien Hoo and Woon Khe Wei were all victorious but there was disappointment for world champion Sazali Samad.

Karate took their total gold medal haul to six in two days and could still add more gloss with the men's and women's team kumite to come today.

S. Senthil Kumaran and S. Shree Sharmini got the show underway in the morning before A. Nisha and Syakila Salni added two more in the evening session.

All four exponents are first time Sea Games gold medallists with Senthil and Sharmini making their debut.

Praveen, who qualified in second place, won the dressage individual competition despite having to ride an unfamiliar horse for the third gold medal from equestrian.

Daniel Bego won a second gold medal in swimming for Malaysia when he took out the men's 400m freestyle final before Cai Lin defended her 800m freestyle title, ensuring swimming met its three-gold target.

Daniel Bego and Khoo Cai Lin with their gold medals in Naypyidaw yesterday.

Vivian and Khe Wei upset the more fancied Greysia Poli and Nitya Krishinda Maheswari of Indonesia for the women's doubles gold, Malaysia's eighth yesterday.

Being a world champion in bodybuilding was not good enough to win a gold medal at the Sea Games as Sazali discovered, though he said he was beaten fair and square.

The women's hockey team set what is believed to be a world record score in an international match when they defeated Cambodia 36-0.

Boxer G. Ramkumar was denied a fairytale ending in the light-welterweight final when he was knocked out by Thailand's Apichet Saenset, having spent a small fortune paying his own way to train abroad.
There was also disappointment for the men's basketball team after a 73-69 defeat by Thailand extinguished their medal chances.

Today, the athletics programme begins with the 20km walk with national athletes also in contention for gold in bodybuilding, cycling, equestrian, karate, pencak silat and swimming.

The men's football team face Singapore where a win will ensure passage to the semi-finals while the women's basketball team must beat Thailand to have a shot at gold.

Read more: Gold rush now at 18 - Other - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/sports/other/gold-rush-now-at-18-1.433065#ixzz2nakjPK14

The NST : SWIMMING: Perfect haul for Bego

IN CONTROL: Daniel wins 10th gold in 400m freestyle, Cai Lin takes 800m

DANIEL Bego finally achieved a perfect 10 of gold medals while Khoo Cai Lin overcame stomach ailment for an early birthday gift by winning the women's 800m freestyle at the Wunna Theikdi Swimming Arena in Naypyitaw yesterday.

Bego led from start to finish in the men's 400m freestyle as the Sarawakian came close to breaking his four-year-old Sea Games record of 3:53.99 seconds by finishing in 3:54.89s but compatriot Kevin Yeap could not muster a strong finish, clocking 4:00.75s for fifth.

Vietnam's Hoang Quy Phuoc finished second in 3:57.22s followed by Thailand's Tanakrit Kittiya (3:59.00s).

Bego described his win as a tremendous effort after recovering from shoulder surgeries, which kept him out of the Indonesia edition two years ago.

"I have won 10 gold... I wasn't counting but it is good to be back on the top of the podium after four years. Words can't describe how I feel now. The win is so special to me," said the delighted Bego yesterday.

"I knew I could control the race if I started it aggressively and did just that for the win. It would have been perfect if I had swum faster and finished closer to my long-standing record."

He achieved his Sea Games breakthrough in the 2005 Manila edition with wins in the 200m freestyle and 100 butterfly events. He repeated his feat two years later in Korat.

Bego starred in the 2009 Laos edition with five gold and four Sea Games records.

Bego, though, happy with his win, did not celebrate when he tapped the wall first for the finish following Kevin's failure to make the podium.

"Kevin has been consistent throughout the season and it would have been great if he had won a medal. I did not celebrate as he did not do well," said Bego.

The 24-year-old had to lay off swimming for more than a year after undergoing surgery to his shoulders in 2011. He missed the 2011 Sea Games and also failed to qualify for last year's London Olympics.

He had to go for a third surgery to correct a long-standing bone spur problem in his right shoulder. Bego had then felt he wouldn't return to the pool as recovery was slow.

But the determined swimmer made a successful outing in the Malaysian Open in May by winning the 200m freestyle and also made the final of the recent World Cup short course event in September.

It was a sweet win for Bego as his mother was watching from the stands.

"My mother has been supportive throughout my career. She prepares me medicinal soup before every final," Bego added.

Cai Lin, who was down with fever on Friday, won the women's 800m freestyle in 8:41.51s for her fifth overall Sea Games title since the 2007 edition.

Thailand's Benjaporn Sriphanomthorn finished second in 8:49.61s followed by Vietnam's Nyugen Thi Anh Vien 8:52.77s.

It was a perfect birthday gift for Cai Lin who turns 25 on Dec 25.

"I didn't feel well yesterday (Friday) and finished only fifth in the 400m freestyle. I feel much better today though I still have stomach issues.

"It was a good race and I managed to lead from the third lap onwards but the Thai kept close. However, I managed to hold my nerves and claim the win," said Cai Lin, who does not have plans to retire.

Daniel Bego in action in the 400m freestyle yesterday.

Read more: SWIMMING: Perfect haul for Bego - Other - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/sports/other/swimming-perfect-haul-for-bego-1.433063#ixzz2nam0hCAF

The Star : Daniel, Cai Lin make a golden splash for Malaysia


NAYPYITAW: A mother's love knows no bounds. Amy Wong has been shuttling between the hotel and Games Village for the last three days to pass a serving of Chinese herbal soup for her son Daniel Bego.

And it was just the right tonic for Daniel to power his way to victory in the men’s 400m freestyle at the Wunna Theikdi Aquatic Center on Saturday.

The 24-year-old Daniel was the first to hit the wall at the end of the first lap and he maintained the pace till the end to finish in 3:54.89, claiming what was his 10th gold medal in SEA Games swimming.

Vietnam’s Hoang Quy Phuoc took silver with 3:57.73 while Thailand’s Kittiya Tanakrit took bronze with 3:59.00.

Kevin Yeap, who won the race in Palembang two years ago, did not swim well and placed fifth this time in 4:00.75.

But thankfully, there was Daniel, who must have thought a 10th gold medal in SEA Games swimming would have been impossible to secure afer having had both his shoulders operated on two years ago.

He had to go on a long rehabilitation process and missed the chance to swim in Palembang two years ago.

Daniel had previously made a big splash, claiming five gold medals in new record times in Vientiane in 2009.

On Saturday, he however did not manage to improve on his personal best of 3:53.99, which is also the existing SEA Games record for the 400m freestyle. But he had no reason to be disappointed at all.

“Thanks for reminding me that it’s my 10th gold medal. Words cannot describe how it feels.

“I never thought I would be able to stand on top of the podium again.

“I swam aggressively at the start as I knew I could control the pace.

“I would love to swim a faster time but I am happy, anyway,” said Daniel, who also bagged a silver together with Welson Sim, Vernon Lee and Lim Ching Hwang in 4x100m freestyle in a new national record time of 3:26.98. (The Malaysians were initially credited with a bronze but silver medallists Indonesia were later disqualified).

Daniel was also part of the quartet that previously set the mark at 3:27.87 in Vientiane in 2009.

Unlike Daniel, Khoo Cai Lin did not have her mother’s herbal soup and instead relied on true grit as she came back from fever the day before to retain her 800m freestyle title, providing double cheer for the Malaysians.

Cai Lin, completed her SEA Games outing in Myanmar on a high after clocking 8:49.51 to win the 800m freestyle gold ahead of Thailand’s Benjaporn Sriphanomthorn, who pushed hard for silver in 8:49.61.

Khoo Cai Lin and Daniel Bego (right) capture the moment, after winning the women's 800m freestyle and men's 400m freestyle respectively at the SEA Games on Dec 14, 2013.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

The Star : Filipino swimmer Jasmine exhibits great sportsmanship


NAYPYITAW: It may have nothing to do with Malaysia but one can’t help but feel for Filipino swimmer Jasmine Alkhaldi, who had to surrender the gold medal she won in the women’s 100m freestyle on the opening night of pool action on Thursday.

The London Olympics swimmer had won narrowly over two Singaporean rivals to become the first Filipino woman swimmer to triumph at the SEA Games since Akiko Thomson won in 1995 in Manila.

The medals ceremony took place, the flags were raised and the Filipino national anthem was played out but the results were nullified later that night after Thailand officials filed a protest, which was later upheld by the organisers.

It seemed that everyone jumped into the water on the first horn except the Thai swimmer Natthanan Junkrajang, who waited for the second horn before jumping in.

The protest was upheld because of a second horn but the race went on and the flag did not go down.

Jasmine had to surrender her gold medal and return the following day for the re-swim.

Junkrajang got the gold ahead of Singapore’s Quah Ting Wen in the re-swim while it was a Friday the 13th bummer for Philippines as Jasmine settled for the bronze instead.

Having covered many multi-Games meets before, we have to say this is the first time we are seeing a re-swim.

It is certainly an extraordinary situation that can only happen in the SEA Games.

The Philippine Olympic Committee later reached out to the Myanmar SEA Games organising committee to appeal the forfeiture of Jasmine’s victory.

Colonel Jeff Tamayo, the Philippine delegation head in Myanmar, was quoted by their media saying that they had filed a protest to the SEA Games Federation to stop the re-swim but to no avail.

Stripping the gold medal violates the principles of fair play and we take our hat off to Jasmine for her sportsmanship.

Jasmine could have just stayed off the pool and not taken part in the re-swim if she was bitter about being ordered to return her gold medal.

Deep in her heart, she must be gutted but she embodied the true sporting spirit, which is becoming rare in today’s sporting scene. No wonder she was getting praises from her fellow Filipinos back home.

In this situation, what the Myanmar organisers can do is to officially grant her a reception and present her with a symbolic gold medal.

DSA Swimming Carnival, 7 December 2013

It’s a wonderful Saturday morning on 7th December 2013. There were a total of 34 swimmers from iBSC gathering at Pusat Akuatik Nasional, Kompleks Sukan Negara Bukit Jalil to attend the 1st DSA Swimming Carnival with the theme ‘Blue Fantasy Carnival’. There were lots of activities lined up for the carnival which included aquatic activities, fun activities for both kids and adults and swimming gala.

All iBSC swimmers gathered as early as 6:45am and started to warm up at 7:00am in the diving pool led by Coach Shazali. A total of 12 swimmers participated in the opening event which was the biathlon event. Congratulations to iBSC swimmers: -
  1. Yeong Zhen Yi (Gold medal) and Teo Sze Hui (Bronze medal) in Biathlon (Girls) 10 years old & below
  2. Yeong Yik San (Silver medal) in Biathlon (Boys) 11 – 14 years old
  3. Farra Dyana Arffin (Bronze medal) in Biathlon (Girls) 11 – 14 years old

The swimming gala kicked start after the prize presentation ceremony for the biathlon winners. Among the events competed are 50m Butterfly, 50m Backstroke and 50m Breaststroke, followed by a prize presentation and lunch break at 1:00pm. The 50m Freestyle and Mixed 50m Freestyle Relay followed after the break.

Congratulation to our iBSC swimmers: -
  1. Khor Wei Ren (Silver medal) in Boys 10 & under 50M Butterfly
  2. Ng Zi Syuen (Bronze medal) in Girls 10 & under 50M Butterfly
  3. Nicolas Sia (Gold medal), Ng Hung Teck (Silver medal) and William Honderich (Bronze medal) in Boys 11 – 12 50M Butterfly
  4. Nuraina Naziha (Gold medal) and Lim Chew Yi (Silver medal) in Girls 11 – 12 50M Butterfly
  5. Muhd. Alif Afifi (Silver medal) in Boys 13 – 15 50M Butterfly
  6. Ng Zi Syuen (Bronze medal) in Girls 10 & under 50M Backstroke
  7. William Honderich (Gold medal) and Nicolas Sia (Silver medal) in Boys 11 – 12 50M Backstroke
  8. Lim Chew Yi (Gold medal), Nuraina Naziha (Silver medal) and Liew Shue Yuen (Bronze medal) in Girls 11 – 12 50M Backstroke
  9. Khor Wei Ren (Bronze medal) in Boys 10 & under 50M Breaststroke
  10. William Honderich (Gold medal) and Nicolas Sia (Silver medal) in Boys 11 – 12 50M Breaststroke
  11. Nuraina Naziha (Gold medal) and Liew Shue Yuen (Bronze medal) in Girls 11 – 12 50M Breaststroke
  12. William Honderich (Silver medal) in Boys 11 – 12 50M Freestyle
  13. Nuraina Naziha (Gold medal), Liew Shue Yuen (Silver medal) and Lim Chew Yi (Bronze medal) in Girls 11 – 12 50M Freestyle
  14. Muhd. Alif Afifi (Gold medal) in Boys 13 – 15 50M Freestyle

There was also Synchronized Swimming performance after the lunch break. The swimming gala ended at 4:00pm but the carnival continues with everyone enjoying the fun activities and aqua fitness up to 6:00pm.
In summary, iBSC swimmers won 4 medals in the biathlon events and 24 medals in the swimming gala. Congratulations to all medalists and well done to all swimmers who had portrayed the team spirit of sportsmanship.

See Full Results of DSA Swim Carnival here.

By Teo YJ
IBSC Team Manager

See more photos at IBSC Gallery.

The Star : Christina wins 100m breaststroke gold


Christina Loh grabbed Malaysia's first swimming gold in the 100m breaststroke event on Dec 13, 2013 with a personal best of 1:10.55.

NAYPYITAW: Swimmer Christina Loh continued off from where Siow Yi Ting left to save the day for Malaysia by bagging the women’s 100m breaststroke gold medal at the Wunna Theikdi Aquatic Centre on Friday.

There were questions as to whether the 18-year-old Christina was capable of filling the big shoes of 28-year-old Yi Ting, a four-time Olympian and multiple SEA Games gold medallist who quit the sport three months earlier due to a growth in her neck and her age.

Yi Ting has never failed to deliver a gold for Malaysia in women’s 100m breaststroke since Korat in 2007 and Christina provided the perfect answer by leading from start to finish to give Malaysia the first victory in the pool.

She posted a personal best time of 1:10.55 to finish ahead of Thais Salubluek Chavunnooch (1:11.35) and Pawapatako Phiangkhwan (1:12.68).

Another Malaysian, Nadia Adrianna Redza, was sixth in 1:15.33.

It’s not Christina’s first SEA Games gold medal, having made her debut by winning the 50m breaststroke event in Palembang two years ago.

However, she is unable to defend the title as the event is not included in Myanmar.

Christina took a break to focus on her SPM examinations and also the fact that she was struggling to cope with the transition from being a teenager to a young woman.

Christina, who was fastest in the heats with 1:12.51, was delighted to have turned the silver she won in the event in Palembang into gold.

“I’m happy to continue from where Yi Ting left. She has done a lot for Malaysia at the SEA Games and I am proud to maintain it. I wanted to swim faster but this is a decent timing for me,” said the Penang-born Christina, who still has the 200m breaststroke to look forward to, although it’s not her pet event.

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s Fauzi Sidiq Triady clocked 49.99 to smash Daniel Bego’s Games record of 50.16, set in Vientiane in 2009, en route to winning the men’s 100m freestyle gold.

Daniel, who swam on the outer lane, settled for fourth in 51.21 while Lim Ching Hwang ended a disappointing eighth in 52.04.

Singapore’s Joseph Schooling set the other SEA Games record in the 200m individual medley, clocking 2:00.82 to erase the 2011 mark of 2:02.90 belonging to Ketin Nuttapong of Thailand.

Malaysia’s gold medal hope today lies in Kevin Yeap and Daniel in the men’s 400m freestyle. Kevin will be defending the title he won in Palembang two years ago but can expect a tough challenge from the resurgent Daniel.

The NST : Back on golden track

GOOD FRIDAY: Five gold medal rejuvenate Malaysia’s hopes of reaching target

AFTER a slow Thursday, Malaysia got back on track to reaching their 40-gold target at the Myanmar Sea Games when national athletes bagged five titles to double the contingent's gold count yesterday.

Karate, which came under fire for not allowing the media in for interviews during their training session on Thursday, delivered the first gold of the day through Lim Chee Wei in the men's individual kata.

Chee Wei then teamed up with Ricky Leong and Leong Theng Kuang to take the team gold.

Eddy Choong then made it three gold after he emerged victorious in the 50m free pistol event with youngster Jonathan Wong Guanjie bagging the bronze in the same event.

Later in the evening, silat (seni) exponents Nur Syazreen A. Malik and Nor Hamizah Abu Hasan delivered the sport's first gold at the Games via the women's doubles event.

Christina Loh won Malaysia's first gold from the pool when she took the women's 100m breaststroke in an impressive time of one minute 10.55 seconds.

Christina Loh in the 100m breaststroke final at the Wunna Theikdi Swimming Arena yesterday. Christina (inset) with her gold medal.

More gold medals are expected from swimming and karate today while Malaysia also have a chance in weightlifting through former Commonwealth Games medallist Mohd Hafifi Mansor and boxing via G. Ramkumar in the men's 69kg category final.

The Star : Fever prevents Cai Lin from defending 400m freestyle title


NAYPYITAW: A bout of fever dashed Khoo Cai Lin’s hopes of mounting a strong challenge to reclaim her women’s 400m freestyle title at the Wunna Theikdi Aquatic Centre on Friday.

The 25-year-old Cai Lin had finished fastest in the heats in the morning (4:27.77) but fell sick in the afternoon.

That drained her and she could only finish fifth (4:25.02) in the event, which she won in Korat (2007) and Vientiane (2009) before settling for silver in Palembang two years ago.

Sriphanomthorn Benjaporn of Thailand clocked 4:14.23 to take victory, leaving Cai Lin without a medal in the event for the first time since 2007.

Silver went to Vietnamese youngster Nguyen Thi Anh Vien (4:16.06) while Singapore’s Lynette Lim (4:21.24) took the bronze.

“I wasn’t feeling well and I threw up. I thought of withdrawing but didn’t. I tried my best to finish the race but it was not to be.

“I’m not trying to make excuses but I kind of expected this result,” said the visibly pale Cai Lin, who now has to race against time to recover for the 800m freestyle on Saturday.

Cai Lin is the defending champion for the 800m freestyle event.

“I will sleep early and hope it gets better tonight,” said Cai Lin.

Khoo Cai Lin going all out to defend her 400m freestyle title at the SEA Games on Dec 13, 2013, despite falling ill. She had to settle for fifth placing after coming down with fever earlier in the day.

Friday, 13 December 2013

The Star : Lanky Anh Vien bags 2 golds for Vietnam


NAYPYITAW: Outside the pool, Nguyen Thi Anh Vien could easily be mistaken for a model because of her height.

But the lanky Anh Vien isn’t.

And she showed that she’s not just a pretty face by becoming Vietnam’s first female swimming gold medallist with a new SEA Games record at the Wunna Theikdi Aquatic Centre on Thursday.

The 17-year-old Anh Vien, who stands at 1.72m tall, handed Vietnam double cheer by bagging golds in the women’s 200m individual medley and 200m backstroke.

The teenager was delighted to finally climb on top of the podium after taking two silver medals in the 200m backstroke and the 400m individual medley at the last SEA Games in Indonesia two years ago.

Nguyen Thi Anh Vien bagged golds in the women’s 200m individual medley and 200m backstroke, becoming Vietnam’s first female swimming gold medallist at the SEA Games

“I’ve never won at the SEA Games before ... this is a happy moment for me, to be the first in Vietnam. I know my timings were good for the gold medal but I didn’t know about strength of the other competitors,” said Anh Vien, who is targeted for the 100m backstroke title as well.

Anh Vien is seen as the great hope for Vietnamese swimming due to her height and long arm span.

She became the first Vietnamese swimmer to qualify for the Olympic Games in London last year.

She first showed her potential when she clinched five gold medals at the South-East Asian Swimming Championships in Singapore last year – at the age of just 16.

Her potential convinced the Vietnamese sports administrators to send her to train with Florida’s Saint Augustine Swim Team under a special funding programme for elite sportsmen and women.

Anh Vien repaid their faith by bagging three gold medals – 50m and 200m backstroke and 200m individual medley – and one silver – 100m backstroke – at Asian Youth Games in Nanjing in August.

“My goals are to do well at the Incheon Asian Games next year and, after that, the 2016 Olympics in Rio,” said Anh Vien, who started swimming at the age of four.

Her grandfather taught her to swim as he was afraid that Anh Vien would drown in the deep channel at the front of her house.

It was all worth the effort as Anh Vien could now turn out to be the swimming star of the Myanmar Games when competition ends on Monday.

The Star : Swim relay: Malaysian quartet smash record, settle for silver


NAYPYITAW: The quartet of Lim Ching Hwang, Kevin Yeap, Daniel Bego and Welson Sim swam their hearts out to dip four seconds below the existing SEA Games mark for the men’s 4x200m freestyle event. They even smashed their own national record for good measure.

Yet, for all their valiant efforts, it only earned them the silver medal behind a Joseph Schooling-powered Singapore team, who retained their title just slightly ahead on 7:26.67 at the Wunna Theikdi Aquatic Centre on Thursday night.

The Malaysian quartet clocked 7:27.32 to join Singapore in dipping under the SEA Games mark of 7:30.73 which the Singaporeans set in Palembang two years ago.

United States-based star Schooling jumped off the blocks and quickly established a healthy lead over Ching Hwang.

It looked like gold was out of Malaysia’s reach for Malaysia by the time Kevin completed the second leg and Daniel took over.

But Malaysia’s never-say-die spirit prevailed as Daniel chased down Singapore’s Pang Sheng Jun.

Gold was in sight as Daniel went level with his Singaporean rival before passing it to SEA Games debutant Welson.

The youngster went ahead after the first 100m but was eventually overtaken in the final lap by Quah Zheng Wen, who had earlier won the 400m individual medley gold.

Although Singapore celebrated in the end, at least Malaysia enjoyed the consolation of earning the first medal from the pool – and a new national record, the third set this year.

Daniel will be highly comforted by his performance here as he looks to reclaim his 100m freestyle title tonight, after missing out on the action in Indonesia due to shoulder injuries.

“I am in my best form. I’ve never felt so good like this for some time. It’s all about chasing down the favourites at this point and I’m comfortable with this,” said the Sarawakian, who bagged five gold medals in his last SEA Games appearance in Laos in 2009.

Kevin said that they gave their best against Singapore and there was no reason to feel disappointed.

“We know the national record will fall. We wanted to go for gold but we know it will be hard to beat the Singaporeans. We will come back stronger,” said Kevin, who is defending his 400m freestyle title on Saturday.

Malaysia's silver medallists in the men's 4x200m swimming event (from left): Welson Sim, Daniel Bego, Kevin Yeap and Lim Ching Hwang

The NST : Daniel impresses on return

GREAT SWIM: Powers quartet to silver with new national record

DANIEL Bego swam the race of his life in the men's 4x200m freestyle as the quartet smashed the national record for a third time this year but it was not enough to dethrone Singapore in Naypyitaw yesterday.

The quartet of Lim Ching Hwang, Kevin Yeap, Daniel and Welson Sim bettered the national record set at the Islamic Games in Jakarta in September by 4.12 seconds with 7:27.32 for the silver medal.

The Joseph Schooling-led Singapore team successful defended their title by finishing in 7:26.67 to rewrite the Sea Games record for the gold while Indonesia took third spot with 7:35.13.

Ching Hwang and Kevin kept Malaysia in the race with Singapore leading by a few seconds before it was Daniel's turn.
Daniel Bego

Daniel, who is making a return to the Sea Games, was exceptionally fast and edged Singapore's Pang Sheng Jun by 0.1 seconds before tapping the wall but anchor swimmer Welson could not maintain the lead and fell to second position on his final turn.

"We swam a good race and improved the national record by more than four seconds. No Malaysian quartet has ever swum so fast in the relay.

"However, we came out only second best. I hope our good start here will motivate us for the following races," said Kevin.

Initially, it was feared that Daniel would not be able to do well in the race but the Sarawak-born turned on a master class performance.

"We did our best but I believe we have a lot potential and can go faster.

"I would say it was my best race since returning from injury. We almost created history but the best team won.

"It will definitely motivate me for my following race. I am near my best and hopefully, I can win more medals here," said Daniel.

He will return to the pool today in the 100m freestyle along with Ching Hwang and if everything goes to plan, he would win his 10th Sea Games title.

Christina Loh and Khoo Cai Lin are also contenders in the women's 100m breaststroke and 400m freestyle today.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

The Star : Christina up to the challenge of filling Yi Ting's shoes


NAYPYITAW: It is already hard getting accustomed to the changes that come with maturing from a teenager to a young woman but to also attempt to fill the shoes vacated by multiple SEA Games gold medallist Siow Yi Ting is a big challenge.

Christina Loh in a file photo. She hopes her second SEA Games outing will be as memorable as the last one.

However, swimmer Christina Loh is slowly coming to grips with it and hopes her second SEA Games appearance will be just as memorable as her first in Indonesia two years ago.

Then, Christina struck gold for a perfect SEA Games debut in the 50m breaststroke in Palembang when she was just 16.

She was also the silver medallist behind Yi Ting in the 100m breaststroke.

The 28-year-old Yi Ting, a four-time Olympian swimmer, also won the 200m breaststroke in Palembang but quit three months before this edition of the Games because of her age and a growth in her neck.

From the last SEA Games, Christina has grown taller and now has a more defined body, which she hopes to use to her advantage in the breaststroke.

”I put in more sessions at the gym. It’s a combination of things like dyno bike and carrying weights.

”I had not bettered any of my personal bests for some time but things have been picking up and I was able to improve at the Islamic Soldarity Games in Indonesia (in September).

”I hope to continue that trend at the SEA Games,” said Christina, who bagged three gold medals in Indonesia.

”Yi Ting is also not participating and it was quite sudden. That’s also the motivation I need to come up again,” added the Kuala Lumpur-born Christina.

However, her pet event – the 50m breaststroke, which she won in Palembang, is not being contested in Naypyitaw.

”Of course, it is a bit disappointing (to have the 50m breaststroke excluded) but I have no choice but to adapt to the situation.

”I really like the sprints and believe I have a better chance of a medal in the 100m compared to the 200m this time.

”The girls from Singapore and Thailand will be tough to beat but I will give it everything I have,” said Christina, who should go up against Singapore’s Samantha Yeo and Thailand’s Chavunnooch Salubluek.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

The Star : Kevin recovers in time for SEA Games


NAYPYITAW: A viral infection almost wrecked long distance swimmer Kevin Yeap’s SEA Games dream but he is relieved to have seen the worst of it.

And Kevin is more determined than ever to stamp his mark as the region’s top middle and long distance male swimmer when the swimming competition gets under way at the Wunna Theikdi Aquatic Centre Thursday.

Kevin Yeap in a file photo. He sees team-mate Daniel Bego as his biggest challenger in the 400m freestyle event at the SEA Games.

Kevin was stuck in bed as a result of the viral infection, causing him to not only miss two weeks of training but also shed a few kilos due to his weakened state.

“I had to skip the World Cup short-course meet in Singapore last month because of the viral infection.

“My body became so weak that I just slept for two days straight.

“I came back to training three weeks ago but I recovered and I’ve been much, much better since then,” said the 25-year-old who hails from Perak.

Kevin rose to the occasion to deliver gold in the 400m freestyle in the absence of defending champion Daniel Bego in Palembang two years ago.

However, he lost a chance to claim a double when he settled for silver behind Singapore’s Quah Zheng Wen in the 1,500m freestyle.

Two years have passed ,and having lowered his personal bests consistently, Kevin is optimistic he is in good condition to fight for a double in Naypyitaw this time.

On his competition, Kevin reckons Daniel to be his strongest challenger in the defence of his 400m freestyle title.

Kevin set a new national mark of 3:53.26 at the Malaysian Open in Bukit Jalil in May, erasing Daniel’s mark of 3:53.99 set in winning the event at the Laos SEA Games.

“Daniel is swimming close to my personal best and he did well in the World Cup meet in Singapore last month although it’s a short-course meet.

”There is a young Thai boy (Tanakrit Kittiya) but he is a few seconds slower than me, so I feel it will be a fight between me and Daniel for the 400m freestyle.”

On the longer distance race, Kevin, who has a personal best of 15:32.51 set at the Malaysian Open last year, said it will be harder as Zheng Wen is the swimmer to beat.

“The only thing is I heard he went for national service a few months ago, so we don’t know his current form. But he should be preparing well like me, so we have to see,” said Kevin, who is also swimming in the 4x200m freestyle relay.

The Star : Malaysia hope to steal gold from Singapore in 4x200m


NAYPYITAW: Singapore, spearheaded by their United States-based star Joseph Schooling, have boldly declared their intention to secure half of the 32 gold medals at stake in swimming at the Myanmar SEA Games.

But Malaysia are quietly hoping to steal their thunder by winning one of the coveted relay gold medals from Singapore when the pool action begins at the Wunna Theikdi Aquatic Centre on Thursday.

The men’s 4x200m freestyle is where Malaysia possibly stands a real chance to strike gold to end a drought dating to the 2001 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.

Kevin Yeap in a file photo. He will be looking to defend his 400m freestyle title at the SEA Games.

That was the last time Malaysia tasted victory in the relays through the fabulous foursome of Alex Lim Keng Liat, Elvin Chia, Anthony Ang and Allen Ong in men’s 4x100m medley.

This time, coach Paul Birmingham has lined up Daniel Bego, Lim Ching Hwang, Kevin Yeap and Welson Sim for the bid to wrest the gold from defending champions Singapore.

The current SEA Games record of 7:30.73 for the event is also held by Singapore and that will have to fall as well if Malaysia are to have any chance of taking the gold.

Swimmer Kevin Yeap is optimistic Malaysia have what it takes to challenge the mighty Singaporeans if they can rewrite the national record for the third time this year.

The quartet of Vernon Lee, Ching Hwang, Welson and Tern Jian Han clocked 7:33.33 en route to ninth placing at the World Youth Championships in Dubai in August.

That record only lasted a month as Welson, Vernon, Kevin and Yeap Zheng Yang later posted 7:31.44 to take gold at the Islamic Solidarity Games in Indonesia.

”With Daniel and Ching Hwang (who is the Asian Youth Games gold medallist for 200m freestyle and based in Singapore) in the team, we have a strong combination.

”I think our national record is definitely going to fall and we hope it will come with the gold medal for us as well.

“Singapore have been the favourites as they have the depth of swimmers but we are not bad either this time.

”I think we have four or five swimmers in the team who can do a good 200m freestyle time.

”It will be good for the confidence of the whole swimmming team if we take gold on the opening day,” said Kevin, who will also be looking to successfully defend his 400m freestyle title two days later.

Apart from the fact that the swimmers will have to brave the chills to walk a short distance from the warm-up pool located across from the competition pool, it is all systems go for the team.

Coach Birmingham is anticipating competition to be much tougher compared to the last edition of the Games.

The three gold target set by the National Sports Council is reachable for his charges but he has warned not to expect much more than that.

”In the past we have been a bit more generous in giving swimmers who did not meet the qualifying time a chance to go for the exposure but we have been tougher this time.

”We have a small team this year who have all met the qualifying time.

”However, despite meeting the silver medal time of the last Games, it will not be easy for them to win or even match that this year.

”I think that is a telling statistic of how much the sport has grown over the years.

”There are a lot of competitive swimmers across all the competing nations.

”What tends to happen at the SEA Games is that there are always one or two star athletes for each edition.

”This year, there is one girl from Vietnam (Nguyen Thi Anh Vien) who is doing very well and has peaked at the right time given her age. I think she will win five or six gold medals.

”Singapore have Tao Li and Joseph Schooling and they tend to dominate a lot of the events so to get gold is difficult.

”But having said that, we do have a few people who are in a good position to get gold.

”If everything goes perfectly well, we could probably win one or two more but there are a lot of ‘if’s’ there,” he added.

The Malaysian swimmers won 5-10-3 at the 2011 edition in Indonesia.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The Star : Malaysia swimming coach: Stop the pumps!


THE Malaysian swimmers checked out the Wunna Theikdi Aquatic Stadium for the first time Monday and were not pleased with what they saw.

Coach Paul Birmingham was also not happy. He is now hoping the organisers will not switch on the water pumps during the competition which starts on Thursday.

“The water pumps generate current and it will help the swimmers on the outside lanes. They can gain half a second when it comes to the 50m distance races. I hope they (the organisers) switch it off during the heats and races.

“It happened at the recent World Youth Championships in Dubai where swimmers in the middle lanes, who were supposed to be the fastest, were at a disadvantage because of this,” said Birmingham.

Birmingham has brought a 14-member strong squad to Myanmar, but he has lowered his expectations this time.

Malaysia bagged five golds, 10 silvers and three bronzes at the 2011 edition in Indonesia but it will be hard to repeat the performance in Naypyitaw due to the absence of star swimmer Siow Yi Ting.

The four-time Olympian swimmer quit the sport two months ago and her absence will be felt in the breaststroke and medley events unless Christina Loh can get the better of the Singaporean and Thai swimmers.

Yi Ting won both the 100m and 200m breaststroke races in Indonesia.

Meanwhile, Malaysia ended the men’s water polo event on a winning note by defeating hosts Myanmar 28-11. It was Malaysia’s first win after losses to Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia in the five-team round-robin competition.

Singapore, who are seeking their 25th straight gold, will meet either Thailand or Indonesia in the final on Tuesday.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Entry Deadline Reminder for PRAKL 2014

Dear IBSC Members,

Please be reminded that the closing date for next year's PRAKL Age Group Swimming Championship 2014 is getting close. As such, please submit your entry form together with your 2014 membership renewal soonest possible on or before 10 December, 2013.

The details of the 2014 PRAKL are as follows :-

Date : 10- 12 January, 2014 (Friday - Sunday)
Venue : Kompleks Renang Kuala Lumpur, Bandar Tun Razak
Organiser : Kuala Lumpur Amateur Swimming Association
Date of Reckoning : 1 January, 2014
IBSC Entry Deadline : 10 December, 2013

For any queries, please contact the Team Managers, Ms Chua Poh Lin and Mrs Shirley Soon.

Kindly download :

IBSC Entry Form
IBSC Membership Renewal Form 2014
PRAKL 2014 Invite, Rules and Order of Events

The preceding year's results of PRAKL 2013 can be downloaded from the Swim Results page.

The NST : SWIMMING: Christina targets more glory

By Fadhli Ishak

HER pet event has been left out of the competition, but that has not stopped national swimmer Christina Loh from eyeing more Sea Games glory in Myanmar.

The short-distance breaststroke specialist, who bagged three gold medals at the Islamic Solidarity Games in Indonesia in October, said she is hoping to end the year on a positive note after a slow start to the season.

"The first half of the season did not go that well for me. I can't really put a finger on it, maybe I was just a bit burnt out," said the 18-year-old.

"I had not bettered any of my personal bests' for some time but things have been picking up and I was able to improve several at the Islamic Games.

"I hope to continue that trend in the Sea Games and hopefully, it will put me in a medal position."

In the absence of her favourite 50m event, Christina will only be competing in the 100m and 200m breaststroke with relay events to be decided later.

Christina's performances in the two events have been encouraging of late with her setting new personal bests' of 1:10.43s and 2:33.03s at the Islamic Games.

"Of course it is a bit disappointing (50m exclusion) but I have no choice but to adapt to the situation.
"I really like the sprints and believe I have a better chance of a medal in the 100m compared to the 200m this time.

"The girls from Singapore and Thailand will be tough to beat but I will give it everything I have."
Christina had powered to the 50m gold in a meet record of 32.49 seconds at the 2011 Games and is also the national record holder over the distance (32.31s). She also took silver in the 100m two years ago.

Christina has taken a year off from her studies to focus on swimming this season but hopes to start studying interior design next year either locally or abroad.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Wong Jun Bin returned to break 100 fly record in President Cup 2013

The spirit of Team IBSC was high throughout the swimming meet in Malacca last week where the annual championship was held for the 32nd time to compete for the President Cup trophy.

Tan Gin Yu (left) with Wong Jun Bin
IBSC departed to Hang Jebat Aquatic pool on the eve of competition with 2 full load of buses of 90 swimmers. The children were all excited about the swim trip.

Also joining the team were Wong Jun Bin and Tan Gin Yu, both who have just returned from Singapore Sports School for the year end holidays and made a timely contribution to the club with excellent results.

Even with the absence of some key swimmers, IBSC retained the championship title this year with collection of 1033 points with Pade Supersharkz coming in second with 584 points and Penang Swimming Club taking the third position with 453.5 points.

Top 10 club with highest points in President Cup 2013
IBSC, the Champion Club for President Cup 2013

Wong Jun Bin, 13, broke the 100 butterfly meet record
Wong Jun Bin was contented just to break the 100m butterfly event by a fraction of a second when he did 58.89s to erase the previous year record of 58.90s in the Group 2 boys event.

Keith Lim, 15, also broke the 100m butterfly event in Group 1 boys, however his new timing of 56.40s was only second best after Chan Jie's (KSAS) winning time of 56.32s in the same event where the latter re-wrote the old record of 57.00s.

Below is the list of the new records set at the 32nd President Cup 2013.

Kimberly Ong collected 6 gold and 2 bronze rejoicing with the trophy
In the IBSC team, Kimberly Ong, 12 amassed the most medals with 6 gold (50m and 100m butterfly, 50m backstoke, 50m breaststroke, 50m and 100m freestyle)  and 2 bronze (100m breaststroke, 100m backstroke) in the Group 3 category.

Meanwhile, for the boys swimmers representing IBSC, Lee Jia Jing led the team with 2 gold (50m and 100m breaststroke), 3 silver (50m and 100m butterfly, 50m freestyle)  and 2 bronze (50m backstroke, 100m freestyle).

In the mixed 200m freestyle relay event, the IBSC boys team were made up of Lee Jia Jing, Anson Chew, Wong Jun Bin and Keith Lim, while the girls relay members were Kimberly Ong, Pun Pei Jin, Amanda Nunis and Vanessa Lee. Both the relay teams swam to gold supported by the roaring of the cheering crowd at the pool.

Congratulations to all the IBSC medallists and point scorers who have helped garnered points for the club :

Also well done to the younger batch of swimmers who have improved by leaps and bounds to record their better personal best times.

Here we also wish to record our sincere appreciation to Nova Nutritional Supplies Sdn Bhd, TAGS and FINIS for sponsoring the team attire. The support of the parents, chaperones, team managers and dedication of all the coaches involved are also valued. It is always the team work that has made the swim outing a successful and enjoyable one.

We hope to repeat our feat again in 2014 President Cup next year.

See full results here.

IBSC swimmers getting ready to warm up at the pool
IBSC swimmers taking a break time at Malacca
Team T-shirts sponsored by TAGS
Jun Bin dashing off in the boys relay event where the team won gold.
Kimberly touched first with Pei Jin jumping off the block as second swimmer in the girls relay
Team of swimmers, coaches, team managers and chaperones of IBSC

Photos courtesy of Vivian Ong and Nancy Sim

View more pictures at the IBSC Gallery.

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