Malaysians in for tough time against world class field

SHANGHAI: A five-member strong Malaysian swimming team have settled down in the city but not a lot is expected from them for the World Championships competition starting today.

The four women – Khoo Cai Lin , Chan Kah Yan, Chui Lai Kwan and Christina Loh and the sole male representative Kevin Yeap – all may have qualified on merit but it is going to be a major surprise if they can advance further from their respective heats.

Such is the high standard of competition that the five Malaysian swimmers can give themselves a hearty pat on their backs if they can swim their personal bests here.

Even swimming team manager Mae Chen said it will be hard for the swimmers, especially Cai Lin and Kevin who are swimming the long distance events, to better their personal bests in the era of the post-high tech swimsuits.

“It is not easy even for the world class swimmers here to better their personal bests especially as the hi tech swimsuits are no longer allowed.

“What we want to see is our swimmers staying ahead of their regional competitors and to aim for the Olympic qualification mark here.

“It will give us an indication of our chances going into the Indonesia SEA Games at the end of the year,” she said.

Kevin, the Laos SEA Games silver medallist, is the first to go into action in the men’s 800m freestyle but he is only competing on Tuesday.

Kah Yan will do the women’s 50m backstroke the following day while Cai Lin will race her pet 800m freestyle event on Friday.

Christina and Lai Kwan will complete the fixtures as they swim in the women’s 50m breaststroke and 50m freestyle respectively on Saturday.

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