Hoe Yean breaks Keng Liat’s 23-year-old national record


Alone but impressive: Swimmer Khiew Hoe Yean on his way to setting a national record in the men’s 200m backstroke in the Malaysian Open swimming championships in Bukit Jalil.

PETALING JAYA: Teen swimmer Khiew Hoe Yean produced another standout performance, this time breaking a national record that was already in existence four years before he was born.

Hoe Yean smashed Alex Lim Keng Liat’s long standing record when he clocked 2:00.80 in the 200m backstroke at the Malaysian Open swimming championships in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

Keng Liat did 2:00.94 when he took silver at the Bangkok Asian Games in 1998 and no one has since come close to breaking it.

What is even more surprising is that Hoe Yean, who will be 19 on Sept 2, swam alone and still managed to earn another Olympic Selection Time (OST).

He dipped under the OST time of 2:01.03.

Hoe Yean is certainly staking a strong claim to get the nod to be Malaysia’s male representative at the Tokyo Olympics as this is his second OST achievement.

On Friday, Hoe Yean finished ahead of Rio Olympian Welson Sim by more than six seconds in winning the 400m freestyle and in the process officially put himself in the OST list.

Malaysia Swimming have now voiced their intention to apply for Universality Places.

The Universality Places system allows a nation with no Olympic qualifier to enter up to one male and one female swimmer for the Tokyo Games.

Only swimmers who meet the OST in their respective events by June 27 are guaranteed slots at the Olympics.

“I am not sure whether I get to go or not but it is of course my dream to compete at the Olympics since I took up the sport.

“I knew I was able to break the national record as I have done similar pace in timed training.

“But I am still surprised to break it here as I have not swam a competitive race for more than year, ” added Hoe Yean, who also smashed the Malaysian Open record of 2:02.68 set by India’s Srihari Nataraj in 2019.

Hoe Yean’s last competitive race before the Covid-19 outbreak was the national age-group meet in Bukit Jalil in March last year.



RESULTS (ALL FINALS)

Men

50m freestyle: 1. Hii Puong Wei (Swk) 24.47, 2. Samuel Ng (Sab) 24.76, 3. Yap Yong Jie (Kul) 25.51.

50m breaststroke: 1. Ng Jing Fu (Sel) 29.79, 2. Hii Puong Wei (Swk) 29.87, 3. Nuri Saadan Khalid (Swk) 31.79.

100m butterfly: 1. Welson Sim (Swk) 56.38, 2. Low Zheng Yong (Mel) 56.90, 3. Jordan Yip (Sel) 56.94.

200m backstroke: 1. Khiew Hoe Yean (Kul) 2:00.80 national and meet record.

400m individual medley: 1. Sebastian Soon (Kul) 4:31.69, 2. Low Zheng Yong (Mel) 4:40.91, 3. Anselm Lee (Mel) 4:54.77.

Women

50m freestyle: 1. Angelina Chan (Sel) 27.62.

100m butterfly: 1. Ong Yong Qi (Joh) 1:04.74.

200m backstroke: 1. Nessa Yip (Sel) 2:33.53.

400m individual medley: 1. Ong Yong Qi (Joh) 5:09.36, 2. Kelly Teo (Swk) 5:12.49.

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