Sarawakian Daniel makes clean sweep of freestyle events


PETALING JAYA: There is just no stopping Sarawakian Daniel Bego. 

He established himself as the undisputed freestyle champion in the Under-14 category of the Asian Age-Group Aquatic Championships at the Macau Olympic Aquatic Centre on Wednesday. 

Daniel broke records in winning the 50m and 800m races to make a clean sweep of the freestyle events. 

Malaysia ended with a flourish when the divers splashed to gold medals for the first time. Gracie Junita and the duo of Khairul Safwan-James Sandayud scored upset victories in the girls' 3m springboard and boys' 3m springboard synchronized diving events respectively. 

However, it was Daniel who emerged as the star of the Under-14 competition with six gold medals. The Bukit Jalil Sports School student also won the freestyle races over 100m, 200m, 400m and 1,500m. 

In the 800m race on Wednesday morning, Danied smashed the meet record of 9:06.15 belonging to Taiwan's Tseng Yen-po with a time of 8:47.98. Taiwan's Tang Shen-chieh finished second in 8:55.88 and China's Lin Wei-hung took bronze in 9:02.93. 

A tireless Daniel returned to the pool in the evening to beat two Chinese to claim the title of the fastest swimer in the age-group. He won the 50m race in a record time of 24.92, erasing the old mark of 24.98. Wang Deqiang finished second in 25.36 ahead of teammate Bao Ban (25.75). 

Gracie Junita scored 263.28 points to win the event in the Under-14 competition. China's Zhou Xinya settled for silver (260.91) and Taiwan's En Tien-lu finished third (235.29). 

Safwan-Sandayud also pushed China to the silver medal in the Under-15 competition. They scored a 260.97 to finish ahead of Li Menqqiang-Yu Tao (248.28). Kuwaitis Hussain Al-Qallaf-Alruwaished Bader won the bronze in 236.46. 

Malaysia also won a silver and a bronze in diving. 

The silver came from Cheong Jun Hoong in the Under-15 girls' 3m springboard while Zibeon Uzza-Bryan Nickson took bronze in 10m synchronized diving of the Open category. 

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