14 November 2018



 NEWS 09/09/2001
Keng Liat set to deliver first gold for Malaysia in swimming

Keng Liat set to deliver first gold for Malaysia in swimming

KUALA LUMPUR Sept 8 - Asian Games gold medallist Lim Keng Liat is set to deliver Malaysia's first swimming gold medal of the 21st SEA Games when the pool competition begins at the National Aquatics Centre here tomorrow.

The 21-year old US-based swimmer, winner of the 100m backstroke in the Asian Games in Bangkok in 1998, is down to compete in his favoured event - the men's 200m backstroke - as the overwhelming favourite.

He has a personal best time of 2:02.00s and is ranked number one going into the event for this SEA Games.

"I'm quite ready for the race but I cannot brush aside the challenge from the other swimmers, especially (arch-rival Singaporean) Gary Tan.

"He has improved a lot ...that's why I have to be very careful. I'll try to do my best for the country," he said when met at the pool.

Keng Liat won two gold medals at the 20th SEA Games in Brunei two years ago, winning the 100m and 200m backstroke events. In the 200m, he posted 2:2.09s, ahead of Gary Tan who took the silver on 2:05.79s.

At the 21st SEA Games, Keng Liat is also taking part in the 100m backstroke and in all three relay events - 4x100m, 4x200m freestyle and 4x100m medley.

Another of Malaysia's gold medal hopes, Allen Ong, will be flexing his muscles in the pool on Monday, the second day of the swimming competition.

The 23-year old Allen is eyeing the elusive gold medal in the 100m freestyle event, having played second fiddle to Indonesia's veteran swimmer Richard Sam Bera in the Brunei games.

Richard, 30, who had also won the gold in the event in the Jakarta SEA Games before that, has a personal best of 51.05s and is poised to retain the title for the third time running.

Other Malaysian swimmers slated to compete on the opening day are Dieung Anak Manggang, in the men's 400m individual medley, Lubrey Lim (100m freestyle), Sia Wai Yen (women's 200m backstroke) and Siow Yi Ting (200m individual medley). Malaysia are also taking part in the men's 4x200 freestyle and women's 4x200m freestyle events.

Malaysia are expected to win at least eight gold medals in swimming in the 21st SEA Games, through Keng Liat (100m, 200m backstroke), Elvin Chia (100m, 200m breaststroke), Anthony Ang (100m and 200m butterfly), Sia Wai Yen (women's 400m individual medley) and the men's 4x100m medley.

Also in contention for gold are distance swimmer Dieung Anak Manggang, in the 400m and 1,500m freestyle, and Allen Ong, in the 50m and 100m freestyle.

Dieung, who won the gold in both events in Brunei, is ranked second and third in the 400m and 1,500m freestyle respectively. The favourite is Thailand's swimming star Torwai Sethsothorn.

In the last SEA games, Malaysia took seven of the 32 gold medals offered in swimming.

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