Thursday June 5, 2008
National record for Marellyn but not an Olympic berth
SABAH swimmer Marellyn Liew can be forgiven for not being in a celebratory mood after breaking the national record in the women's 100m butterfly at the Batu Buruk Swimming Complex yesterday.
The 19-year-old's mind was already on improving her time further when she competes in the same event at the Singapore Open, the final Olympic qualifying event, tomorrow.
Marellyn's time of 1:01.82 erased the previous national record of 1:02.08 set by Luisa Los Santos at the Korat Sea Games last December. Although she cracked the record, Marellyn was disappointed that the time was slower than the 1:01.43 needed to qualify for the Beijing Games in August.
“I consulted my coach (Lim) Keng Liat immediately after the race and he told me that I could have done better in the final 50m. I need to concentrate more on my way back to the finish line,” she said.
“Although I am happy to have won the gold as well as set a new national record, the fact that I managed to post a personal best swim just before heading to Singapore is more important. I hope that I will do a better swim and qualify for Beijing on Friday.”
Marellyn will miss the final day of the Sukma competition. She left for Singapore last night.
Four Games records also fell on the penultimate day competition. Olympics-bound swimmers Khoo Cai Lin and Daniel Bego set the pace in the women's 400m freestyle and men's 100m butterfly respectively.
Cai Lin was out to break Nurul Huda Abdullah's 20-year national record of 4:17.86 and she came within a second of pulling it off with a time of 4:18.94. But the Selangor swimmer can take some consolation in breaking Lew Yih Wey's 2006 Games record of 4:24.43.
Sarawak's Daniel, who created a new national record in the 200m freestyle on Sunday, settled for a new Games record in the 100m butterfly. His 55:27 finish bettered the 12-year-old 56:24 record set by Anthony Ang at the 1996 Games in Kuantan.
“I feel good with my performances in Sukma as I am in the midst of gearing up for the Olympics. To earn one national and one Games record in my two individual events showed that my preparations are on the right track,” said Daniel.
The 19-year-old then anchored the Sarawak men's team to win the 4x200m freestyle gold medal. With Ling Neng Ching, Eric Chang and Brian Lim in the side, Daniel touched home in 7:57.81. Daniel was also a member of the Sarawak quartet who created the previous record of 8:05.94 in Kota Kinabalu in 2002.
Chan Kah Yan, who has collected five silver medals in Kuala Terengganu, finally nailed the elusive gold, anchoring the FT women's team, who also comprised Heidi Gan, Tania Lee, Chong Siew Mun, to victory in the 4x200m freestyle.
They won the race in 8:41.04 and their effort erased the previous Games record of 8:46.63, set by their FT predecessors in 2002.