Yap Siew Hui (centre) pose for a pic with the other podium finishers after the medal ceremony for the MSSM 100m backstroke event in Shah Alam on Monday. - FAIHAN GHANI/The Star
SHAH ALAM: Butterfly specialist Yap Siew Hui soared to a double to kickstart host Selangor’s bid to retain the overall title in the MSSM (national schools) swimming championships at the Darul Ehsan Aquatic Centre here.
Siew Hui was not at her best but still managed to smash the previous meet record of 29.34 seconds, held by former SEA Games gold medallist swimmer Leung Chii Lin in 2007, in the girls’ 16-18 year-old 50m butterfly race on Monday.
Siew Hui clocked 28.58 to finish comfortably ahead of Sarawak’s Leong Wan Ying (30.36) and Kuala Lumpur’s Jia Yi (30.94).
Siew Hui also came out tops in the 100m backstroke in 1:11.76.
The 16-year-old did not win all the events she took part in as she could only bag a silver behind Sarawakian Angela Chieng in the 200m freestyle, which isn’t her pet event.
Siew Hui explained that her loss in the 200m freestyle was because she is only starting to kick into gear at this early stage of the year.
“I was down with dengue fever and out for three weeks in January. So, I was trying to regain my fitness and get back to where I was before. I’m more of a butterfly swimmer and that is where I judge my performance. I won the 50m butterfly but I’m not happy with the time although I set a new record.
“My personal best is 27.50 (done at the Islamic Solidarity Games in Indonesia last year). So, I’m hoping to do better than this as the season progresses,” said Siew Hui, who is down for seven more individual events.
Four more meet records were broken on the first day of the meet.
Angela clocked 9:04.83 in the girls’ 800m freestyle open to erase Sabah swimmer Lai Wei Li’s meet record of 9:08.11 set in 2009.
Sarawak’s Welson Sim and Tang Chong Heng were in record-breaking form as well. Welson held off a strong challenge from Yeap Zheng Yang of Selangor to win the boys’ 16-18 year-old 200m freestyle event in 1:53.09 and improve on his own record of 1:55.74 set last year.
Chong Heng splashed to victory in the boys’ 16-18 age group 50m breaststroke in 29.91 to erase Benny Ng’s time of 30.14 set last year.
Kuala Lumpur’s Keith Lim clocked 25.42 in the boys’ 12 year-old and under 50m butterfly to better Foo Jian Beng’s record of 26.32, which has stood since 2006.
Kuala Lumpur lead the medal standings with a 9-6-4 haul, followed by Selangor 8-6-6 and Sarawak 4-6-3.