PETALING JAYA: A decade of Malaysia Open victories is something not many can boast of but it’s not enough to make Kevin Yeap reconsider a comeback to defend his open water swimming title at the Manila SEA Games in November.
The 30-year-old from Perak won the 5km Open category in 1’06:27.23 in the Malaysia Open Water Swimming Championship at the Putrajaya Lake yesterday.
Chelsea Ning Lee posted 1’18:04.13 to win in the women’s category.
It was also in Putrajaya two years ago that Kevin announced his retirement after becoming the first Malaysian to win gold in two different disciplines at the SEA Games.
Kevin and Heidi Gan gave Malaysia a golden double in the men’s and women’s 10km events at the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
Kevin was also a Games medallist in the pool, winning gold in the 400m freestyle in Indonesia in 2011.
But Kevin, who is now Perak’s swimming coach, said his appearance was just to help promote open water swimming in the country.
“My fitness is not good enough to fight for a Games podium. Besides, I’m busy with my swimmers,” explained Kevin, who was the nation’s top long distance male swimmer before Welson Sim.
Kevin keeps himself in shape by swimming twice a week when he can find the time.
“I am proud to stand on the podium once again and to achieve one of my goals, which is winning a decade of Malaysia Open titles (nine years in the pool and first time in open water).
“I am glad to see many young swimmers joining the race. I hope more swimmers pick up the sport as it is still new in the country.”
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