Allen Ong rewrites 200m freestyle national record
WAN Abdullah Wan Azlan clocks 4:36.90s to finish overall 41st out of 45 swimmers in the 400m individual medley event heats. - Bernama pix.
SYDNEY Sept 17 - Allen Ong rewrote his own 200m freestyle national record in a day when Asian champion Lim Keng Liat fizzled out against an illustrious field in the Sydney Olympic Games.
Ong slashed 0.14 seconds from his year-old national record of 1:54.67s set at the Brunei SEA Games last year.
The 20-year-old Ong recorded 1:54.53s in the second heat of the men's 200m freestyle but his time placed him 37th out of 51 swimmers for the event.
"I was nervous as this is the biggest meet in the world. I could not believe I had broken the national record although I was going for that in the first place," he said after his race.
Ong's pet event is the 100m freestyle scheduled for Tuesday and he is also entered for the 4x100m medley on Sept 22.
In the men's 100m backstroke, Asian champion Lim Keng Liat had a poor start to finish the race in 56.81s, 1.28s slower than his national record of 55.53s set at the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games.
Keng Liat finished fourth among eight swimmers in heat four and his overall position was 27th among 55 swimmers. The top 16 qualify for the semifinals.
"I felt stiff in the first 50m ... probably due to anxiety," said Keng Liat who will compete in the 200m backstroke on Wednesday.
Wan Abdullah Wan Azlan failed to come any closer to his national record in the men's 400m individual medley event when he clocked a disappointing 4:36.90s to finish overall 41st out of 45 swimmers in the heats.
Wan Azlan finished seventh in heat two with his time 4.15 seconds off his national record of 4:32.75s set at the 1997 Jakarta SEA Games.
Fifteen-year-old Siow Yi Ting, the only Malaysian woman to see action today, was placed 32nd overall in the 100m breaststroke with a time of 1:13.92s.
"I felt a bit out of place in such a big occasion," said Yi Ting who will compete in the 200m breaststroke on Wednesday. - Bernama