Selangor's Shaun Yap on his way to winning the gold and breaking the men’s 50m breaststroke Sukma record. – Faihan Ghani / THE STAR
KANGAR: Selangor's Shaun Yap broke the men’s 50m breaststroke meet record twice in a day en route to the Malaysia Games (Sukma) gold medal at the State Aquatic Centre.
Not even the 45-minute rain delay could stop the 19-year-old from clocking 29.43 to better the previous mark of 29.81 which he had set in the heats on Friday morning. Johor’s Wong Fu Kang took silver in 29.48 while Perlis’ Adam Faris Tan bagged the host’s first medal in aquatics with a bronze in 30.02.
“I’m quite happy with the time although I couldn’t improve on my personal best (28.69), which I set at the Malaysian Open last year. But I managed to defend my title with a new meet record ... so, it’s still a great achievement for me,” said Shaun with a smile.
“Fu Kang was definitely pushing hard out there and so was I because I wanted to touch first. We have a long history and it’s always good to go up against him.”
It’s turning out to be a case of friendly rivalry between Shaun and Fu Kang, who have been competing against each other since 2011.
At the Pahang Games two years ago, Fu Kang got the better of Shaun by winning both the 100m and 200m breaststroke events. Shaun took bronze that year.
In Friday’s heats, Fu Kang swam in Heat Two and set a new meet record of 29.81. Six minutes later, Shaun beat that mark in the third and final heat.
“There is a bit of friendly rivalry going on ... which is fun. He took the 100m (breaststroke) yesterday, so we’re even now. Maybe we’ll settle it on the best of three tomorrow,” added Shaun, who will swim in the 200m breaststroke on Saturday with Fu Kang.
Meanwhile, Sarawak smashed the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay meet record after clocking 7:47.31 – almost 10 seconds ahead of second-placed Selangor (7:57.29) and bronze-medallists Penang (8:01.95).
The Sarawak quartet of Vernon Lee Jeau Zhi, Ngu Jiung Wei, Alex Tiong Sie Hung, Welson Sim Wee Sheng smashed their previous mark of 7:50.29, which they set in Kuantan two years ago.
There was double joy for Sarawak when their women’s quartet of Erika Kong Chia Chia, Ill Tyng Tan, Nita Wong Zhi Yi and Angela Chieng Chui Fei bagged the gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay by clocking 8:46.99, ahead of Sabah (8:48.60) and Selangor (8:48.96).