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Monday July 18, 2005
By LIM TEIK HUAT
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia's top female swimmer Siow Yi Ting secured a timely boost to her World Championships aspirations when she bagged the 200m breaststroke gold in the Janet Evans invitational meet in Los Angeles on Saturday.
Yi Ting, representing the Florida-based Bolles School, clocked 2:31.72 to finish ahead of two Californians – Stephanie Gabert (2:32.72) and Staciana Winfield (2:32.76).
Yi Ting was also the fastest swimmer to qualify for the final, clocking 2:32.18.
It was the second successive time that Yi Ting had prevailed in the Open division of a swimming competition in the United States this year.
The 20-year-old clocked 2:30.83 in the same event in the Kent B. Holden Memorial meet in late May, which saw her earning a place in the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne next year. The qualifying time was 2:31.33.
She also won the 100m breaststroke and 400m individual medley events in the same competition.
Yi Ting's performance in Los Angeles should give her the confidence to aim for a breakthrough in her third outing in the world championships.
The Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) secretary, Edwin Chong, was pleased with Yi Ting's performance.
“Her coach just wanted her to swim through this competition before going to Montreal,” he said.
“I believe she was saving up her best for the world championships. She is certainly capable of going faster as seen from her national record (2:29.21). This is a very encouraging news.
“She has not reached the semi-finals before in the world championships and we hope that she can achieve it this time.”
No Malaysian woman has qualified for a top 16 semi-finals in any event of the series.
Yi Ting, who won three gold medals in the Vietnam SEA Games two years ago, is down to compete in four events in Montreal – 100m and 200m breaststrokes and 200m and 400m individual medleys.
Malaysia's other representative in the swimming competition is Lim Keng Liat, who is down for the 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke races.
The World Championships began with the diving and synchronised swimming competitions yesterday.
The Malaysians in action on the first day of the diving competition were Yeoh Ken Nee and Rossharisham Roslan in men's 3m synchronised diving. The synchronised swimming duo of Shareen Png and Zyanne Lee also saw action in the duet event.
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