PETALING JAYA: Having just recovered from a bout of flu, swimmer Daniel Bego is not putting too high hopes on a smashing run when he makes his debut in the World Aquatics Championships in Melbourne at the end of the month.
“I had the flu last week and I'm just catching back on intensive training currently. I will definitely do my best but I don't know whether I can improve on my personal best,” said Daniel, who won two silver medals at the World Youth Championships in Brazil last October.
The 17-year-old is among the eight Malaysians for the World Championships scheduled for March 18-April 1.
The other male swimmers are Melvin Chua, Eric Chang, Kevin Yeap and Yap See Tuan. The female swimmers are Chai Sook Fun, Khoo Cai Lin and Ong Ming Xiu.
The qualifying period for the Beijing Olympics next year in swimming starts with the World Championships.
Daniel has a good chance to achieve qualification for his first Olympics if he can go near his personal best time in the 200m freestyle and 100m butterfly.
He is the current national record holder for the 200m freestyle (1:52.27) and 100m butterfly (54.40). The Olympic qualifying times under Category B are 1:52.53 and 54.71 respectively. Under Category B, only one swimmer from each country can swim in each event.
National coach Gavin Urquhart said that he would have a clearer picture of the forms of the swimmers just before they leave for Melbourne on March 20.
“I will be doing some test runs on them just before they leave and that is where we can figure out what kind of times they will achieve in Melbourne,” he said.
Swimwear manufacturer Speedo will be outfitting the Malaysian aquatics team for the world meet this time. The sponsorship items from Speedo include goggles, caps, rucksacks, shirts and the Fastskin FS II swimsuit.
Malaysia will have seven divers in the championships. The male divers are Yeoh Ken Nee, Rossharisham Roslan, Khairul Safwan Mansur and Bryan Nickson Lomas. The female divers are Leong Mun Yee, Elizabeth Jimie and Cheong Jun Hoong. The divers, who just returned from Kunming after a month of training, leave for Melbourne tomorrow.