PETALING JAYA: Malaysia will have a second swimmer going to the Rio Olympics next month.
The world governing body, FINA, have informed the Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) that woman breaststroke specialist Phee Jinq En has also qualified for the Olympics under category B.
Jinq En is set to join Sarawakian Welson Sim in making their Olympic debut pending confirmation from FINA, who are finalising the list of Olympic qualifiers for the swimming competition, which takes place from Aug 6-13.
Swimming have a total quota of 900 athletes for the Olympics and a country can have two swimmers for each event.
“FINA informed us that we have one swimmer who has qualified with the fastest-ranked B time.
“We’re awaiting the announcement from FINA.
“We are also waiting to see if Welson wins an extra Olympic spot in the 1500m freestyle.
“He has already made the A time for the 200m and 400m freestyle,” said Asum secretary Mae Chen.
It will be a crowning moment for Jinq En, who has taken women’s breaststroke in Malaysia to new heights since bursting into the limelight at the Singapore SEA Games last year.
The Selangor-born swimmer marked her SEA Games debut by taking gold in the women’s 100m breaststroke in Singapore and erased Siow Yi Ting’s national record of 1:09.82, that stood for six years, by clocking 1:09.64 at the World Cup swimming meet in Dubai last November.
Three-time Olympian and the now-retired Yi Ting set the record at the 2009 Laos Sea Games with the now-banned hi-tech swimsuit fabric.
The 18-year-old lowered the national record to 1:08.99 when she returned to Singapore for the national age-group meet there in March.
Jinq En raised the bar to 1:08.65 when she won at the Malaysian Open in Bukit Jalil in May. Although it was outside the Olympic A time of 1:08.75, it was still good enough to put her on board to Rio de Janeiro.
Khoo Cai Lin was the only Malaysian swimmer at the last Olympics in London.