SEREMBAN: Young Sabah swimmer Marellyn Liew indicated she is ready to handle the challenge in the coming Korat SEA Games in Thailand with another impressive performance in the 50th Malaysian Open championships at the Paroi Aquatic Centre here yesterday.
The 18-year-old, who trains under former international Lim Keng Liat, clocked an impressive 1:02.98 to win the women’s 100m butterfly. She also equalled Cindy Ong’s national record. Perak-born Cindy had set the national record in the Sukma (Malaysia Games), which was held at the same venue in 2004.
United States-based swimmer Luisa Los Santos of Selangor took the silver with a time of 1:03.88 while Hii Siew Siew of Sarawak finished third on 1:04.30.
It was the second national record in as many days for Marellyn. On Friday, she bettered Cindy’s 2004 national mark (28.58) by winning the 50m butterfly in 28.02.
And Marellyn completed her splashing show in style by helping the Sabah relay team bag the 4x100m medley gold in a new meet record.
Marellyn swam the butterfly leg, and together with Chui Lai Kwan, Rachel Lim and Leung Chii Lin, finished in 4:30.29 to erase the previous record of 4:32.37 set by Hong Kong in 2004.
Prior to the Malaysian Open, Marellyn did not have any national mark under her belt and she was naturally delighted with what she achieved here.
“I was trying to aim for a national mark in the butterfly discipline.
“Getting two national records will spur me on to improve further, especially in the SEA Games.
“I have been included in the SEA Games squad and I hope to improve on my personal best there and hopefully achieve something,” said Marellyn, who is studying for a Business Administration degree at the Inti College in Kota Kinabalu.
Like her illustrious coach, Marellyn harbours hope of qualifying for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
It is not an impossible task provided she can beat the qualifying time of 1:01.43 before July next year.
“I will give my best but I can only improve if I get to swim in the bigger meets,” added Marellyn.
There was no stopping Daniel Bego in the men’s competition. The 17-year-old, who has qualified for the Olympics, powered his way to two more gold medals to take his tally to 10.
Daniel cantered to an easy win in the 100m butterfly in a new meet record of 55.06.
The previous meet record of 55.21 was set by Keng Liat in 2003 and Daniel later anchored the Sarawak relay team to the 4x100m medley gold in 4:06.15.
Daniel bagged seven individual gold medals while three more came from the relay events.
His contributions helped Sarawak win the overall title with an 11-3-3 tally.
50m freestyle: 1. Ho Qing Xiang (Sin) 24.13, 2. Foo Jian Beng (Sel) 24.38, 3. Nicholas Tan (Sin) 24.69.
100m butterfly: 1. Daniel Bego (Swk) 55.06 (meet rec), 2. Foo Jian Beng (Sel) 57.38, 3. Clement Leong (Sab) 58.55.
200m backstroke: 1. Melvin Chua (Kul) 2:10.84, 2. Eric Chang (Swk) 2:14.22, 3. Kevin Yeap (Prk) 2:15.19.
4x100m medley: 1. Sarawak (Eric Chang, Ling Neng Ching, Tay Xue Jun and Daniel Bego) 4:06.15, 2. Singapore (Ho Qing Xiang, Nicholas Sim, Joel Tan and Nicholas Tan) 4:07.66, 3. Kuala Lumpur (Melvin Chua, G. Vaageesan, Cheah Shu Pin and Cavan Chow) 4:10.87.
50m freestyle: 1. Chui Lai Kwan (Sab) 26.65 (meet rec), 2. Leung Chii Lin (Sab) 26.78, 3. Ho Shu Yong (Sin) 27.45.
800m freestyle: 1. Khoo Cai Lin (Sel) 8:57.33, 2. Ow Ying Jie (Sel) 9:19.79, 3. Heidi Gan (Kul) 9:27.47.
100m butterfly: 1. Marellyn Liew (Sab) 1:02.98 (national rec) , 2. Luisa Los Santos (Sel) 1:03.88, 3. Hii Siew Siew (Swk) 1:04.30.
200m backstroke: 1. Lew Yih Wey (Nse) 2:21.06, 2. Cheng Karmen (Prk) 2:25.37, 3. Lai Wei Li (Sab) 2:36.63.
4x100m medley: 1. Sabah (Chui Lai Kwan, Rachel Lim, Marellyn Liew and Leung Chii Lin) 4:30.29 (meet rec) , 2. Negri Sembilan (Chai Sook Fun, Siow Yi Ting, Teng Jian Li and Lew Yih Wey) 4:32.79, 3. Kuala Lumpur (Goh Suat Yin, Chan Kah Yan, Chong Siew Mun and Heidi Gan) 4:46.60.
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