OCM/NSC should monitor US-based swimmers
SYDNEY Sept 23 - Four national records were set in swimming at the Sydney Olympic Games here while two United States-based swimmers - Elvin Chia and Lim Keng Liat flopped.
Prior to the Games, Chia and Keng Liat, - were expected to qualify for a semifinal berth but at the end both of them even failed to rewrite national records in their respective events.
Another US-based swimmer Anthong Ang, who studies at the University of Minnesota, was the toast among nine Malaysian swimmers when he rewrote one national record and broke the other.
The 22-year-old Anthony rewrote the men's 100m butterfly race with a time of 55.26s, slightly faster than his 1995 Chiangmai SEA Games time of 55.64s, which is the national record.
In the 200m butterfly event, Anthony, sliced off two seconds from Lim Keng Liat's national record of 2:02.35s set at the Brunei SEA Games last year.
Anthony broke the record with a new time of 2:00.12s.
The other record breakers are Allen Ong in the men's 200m freestyle event and Siow Yi Ting in the women's 200m breastroke race.
Ong clocked 1:54.53s while his one-year-old national record was 1:54.67s at the Brunei SEA Games last year.
Improvement was noticeable on Yi Ting when she rewrite her national record with a time of 2:34.52s.
She shattered a five-month old record which she set at the Asian Championships in Pusan, South Korea in April with a time of 2:35.10s.
For Chia, he missed the men's 100m breastroke semifinals by three places when he finished 19th and his time was 1:02.81s.
Chia missed his own national record which he holds with a time of 1:02.59s.
Another US-based swimmer, Lim Keng Liat, was a disappoinment when he was slower by eight seconds from his national record when he finished the men's 200m backstroke with a time of 2:08.23s.
His national record set at the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games was 2:00.94s.
In the 100m backstroke, Keng Liat clocked 56.81s, more than a second slower than his national record of 55.53s.
Another US-based swimmer Wan Azlan Abdullah had a poor time of 4:36.90s in the men's 400m individual medley. His national record was 4:32.75s set at the 1997 Jakarta SEA Games.
Team manager Edwin Chong described Malaysia's swimming results here as an achievement with four national records cracked by nine-swimmers.
"We had a successful Olympics outing," he claimed.
On the other hand, Chia and Keng Liat complained that they suffered stiffness on their arms and body during their heats in the morning session.
Chong claimed that it would not be possible for swimmers to break a record in the morning session "as the body was conditioned to peak in the evenings or nights."
"All Olympic records are broken at night or in the evenings," he said.
However, only the US-based swimmers suffered such hiccups and not the other Malaysian-trained swimmers who produced fair results.
It is time for the National Sports Council (NSC) and the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) to monitor the progress of Malaysian foreign based swimmers and determine whether the Malaysian swimmers are seriously training hard in the US or are they doing the right things over there. - Bernama