So, she wants to make the Games here worth all that effort and sacrifice.
The 22-year-old and Welson Sim, who has been training in Melbourne, Australia for the last six months, will spearhead the Malaysian swimming team’s quest to win at least three gold medals in the competition starting at New Clark City Aquatic Centre.
The retirement of the Asian Games silver medallist Roanne Ho has brightened Jinq En’s chances to achieve the double in the women’s breaststroke.
Roanne won back-to-back gold in the women’s 50m breaststroke in Singapore (2015) and Kuala Lumpur (2017) before going to claim a silver, also in 50m breaststroke, at the Asian Games in Indonesia last year before retiring.
Jinq En also achieved back-to-back victories in the 100m breaststroke but twice had to settle for silver behind the Singaporean in the 50m despite breaking her national records.
She is not taking anything for granted, though, even with faster times than Singapore’s 19-year-old Christie Chue who is being groomed to take over from Roanne.
“Christie looks to be my strongest opponent. But I haven’t been in the loop, so I am just going to assume everyone has a chance. I don’t want to jinx it,” she laughed.
“It will be nice to win the 50m distance as I’ve never done it before while I am also looking forward to defending my 100m title.
“I’ll be swimming in the 200m breaststroke, too, and I think I am in better shape compared to two years back, so I also want to win a medal there regardless of colour.”
Jinq En holds the national records for both the 50m and 100m breaststroke. She set the record of 31.46 in the 50m en route to finishing fifth in the Indonesia Asian Games.
The national mark in the 100m breaststroke was set in May 2016, when she clocked 1:08.65 in the Malaysian Open.
Malaysia can expect a gold from the pool on the first day as Welson will be looking to defend his men’s 400m freestyle title with Youth Olympic champion Nguyen Huy Hoang of Vietnam looking to be his strongest rival.
Also competing in the 400m freestyle is fellow Malaysian Arvin Singh, the first national swimmer of Sikh descent.
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