KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 (Bernama) — After a poor outing in the last SEA Games with only one gold medal, the national swimming squad are hopeful of better fortunes this time in Cambodia from May 5-17.
National coach Chris Martin said they’re working on the strategies to achieve desirable results at the Morodok Aquatic Centre in Phnom Penh, having listed 18 swimmers for the mission.
“We have been set a target and we will do our best to achieve that. Last year, we had much more success in relays than we had before, so that would be a stroke in fortune,” he said without revealing the medal target.
“As I said, this is why we have meets (competitions), no one can stand up here and say who’s going to win. From the report I received, the pool in Phnom Penh is very nice, much better than last year, so we are looking forward to that,” he said at a press conference at the National Sports Council here, today.
At the Hanoi Games last May, Khiew Hoe Yean bagged the country’s sole gold medal in swimming through men’s 200m freestyle event, while Malaysia had also clinched four silver and two bronze medals for the worst ever outing in recent decades.
As a comparison, the national team had a haul of 2-2-3 in 2019 Philippines, 5-3-3 in 2017 Kuala Lumpur, 3-4-4 in 2015 Singapore, 4-4-4 in 2013 Myanmar and 5-10-3 in 2011 Indonesia Games.
Martin also hopes that the swimmers won’t repeat the false start mistake, which cost a silver medal and national record in the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay event at Hanoi, after the team was disqualified for false start.
Based on the initial results on the scoreboard, Singapore and Malaysia, represented by Welson Sim, Lim Yin Chuen, Hoe Yean and Arvin Shaun Singh Chahal, finished first and second respectively, followed by Vietnam.
However, the disqualification of Singapore and Malaysia for false start saw Vietnam being awarded the gold, while Indonesia and Thailand took the silver and bronze, respectively.
“We had special training last time, and the mistake got made, that’s the heat of the competitions. We weren’t in that position before last time when they’re are doing well and nerves got there, but this time the boys anyway are expected to be up there and that would help,” he said.
Meanwhile, swimmer Jayden Tan, 18, is optimistic of winning medals based on his current performances, after having to return empty handed in his debut at Hanoi.
“I would say my preparations have been going well and hope to do better this time. The goal is always to improve and surely I am targeting for a medas, probably in relay or one of the individual medley events,” he said. — Bernama