Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Two Gold, Games Record For Malaysia On Final Day Of Swimming

KORAT, Dec 11 (Bernama) -- Self-trained Chui Lai Kwan splashed her way to the gold medal in the women's 50m freestyle while Daniel Bego bagged his second gold in record time in the men's 200m freestyle on the final day of the swimming events at the Aquatics Centre in the Anniversary sports complex here today.

The 17-year old Lai Kwan, whose swimming prowess is due to her mother's constant encouragement, swam her heart out to finish in 26.63 seconds while compatriot Leung Chii Lin took the silver in 26.79s to make it a one-two for Malaysia in the event. Bronze went to Thailand's Muenwai Natnapa who did 26.80s.

"I just finished my SPM exam (1st week of December) and flew straight to Thailand for the Games," said Sandakan-born Lai Kwan, who was the silver medallist in the women's 100m backstroke in the 2005 Manila Games.

Lai Kwan and Chii Lin received their medals from Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said who was present to watch their event.

Daniel, who bagged the men's 100m butterfly gold in record time on Sunday, also set a new Games record in the 200m freestyle when he returned 1:52.32s to beat the old mark of 1:52.47s set by Thailand's Dulyarit Phuangthong in Kuala Lumpur in 2001. Singapore's Bryan Tay Zhirong was second in 1:52.98s while the Philippines' Miguel Molina took the bronze in 1:53.59s.

But in the men's 200m butterfly, Daniel could only finish in third place. The gold was won by Filipino James Walsh, who also set a new Games record of 2:00.45s to erase the previous mark of 2:01.84s held by Allen Ong of Malaysia. Indonesia's Utomo Donny took the silver in 2:00.81s.

Meanwhile, birthday girl Siow Yi Ting (she turned 22 today) failed in her bid to win the gold in her pet event, the women's 400m individual medley losing to Quah Ting Wen of Singapore.

Yi Ting, who came back from the United States in August just to train for the Games, timed 4:54.11s against 4:53.90s clocked by the Singaporean. Another Malaysian, Lew Yih Wey, took the bronze with 4:55.86s.

However, to Yi Ting's consolation, the time was good enough for her to beat the Olympic qualifying mark of 4:55.06s.

In the women's 200m butterfly, 13-year-old Hii Siew Siew sprang a surprise by winning the bronze in 2:20.71s. China-born Singaporean Tao Li clocked 2:15.63 for the gold while the Philippines' Totten Erica took the silver in 2:16.63s.

The swimming events of the Korat SEA Games ended today with the Malaysians capturing 7 gold, 8 silver and 8 bronze in all.


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