The Star : Pandelela-Jun Hoong romp to first ever synchro gold medal

GOLD COAST: Pandelela Rinong-Cheong Jun Hoong lived up to their big reputations as they clinched gold in the women’s 10m platform synchro event at the Commonwealth Games.

The Olympic silver medallists and world championships bronze medallists led from start to finish as they scored 328.08 at the Optus Aquatic Centre on Wednesday.

It is Malaysia’s first ever gold medal from synchro at the Games.

The pair’s win was made even sweeter after teammates Leong Mun Yee-Nur Dhabitah Sabri delivered a huge final dive to pip Australia’s Teju Williamson-Melissa Wu to the bronze.

Mun Yee-Dhabitah who trailed in fourth after the first four dives, finished with 308.16, ahead of Williamson-Wu who had 307.80. Canada’s Meaghan Benfeito-Caeli McCay took the silver with 312.12.

With diving’s excellent one gold and two bronzes, Malaysia’s medal tally is now 3-3-5.

Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/sport/diving/2018/04/11/pandelela-jun-hoong-romps-to-10m-synchro-gold/#Ri2JOoqT4hbPI5tH.99

The Star : Newly-paired Mun Yee-Dhabitah aim to prove themselves

VETERAN diver Leong Mun Yee is happy that the spotlight is not on her.

But that has not stopped the 33-year-old from quietly hoping for a medal of her own in the 10m synchro event when the diving competition starts at the Optus Aquatic Centre today.

Mun Yee will team up with Nur Dhabitah Sabri but all eyes will be on Olympic silver medallists and World Championships bronze medallist Pandelela Rinong and Cheong Jun Hoong to deliver the goods.

Mun Yee, who is in her fourth Games appearance, believes she and her 18-year-old partner cannot be overlooked.

“Pandelela-Jun Hoong are the focus in the 10m synchro while Dhabitah and I are just the other pair,” mused Mun Yee.

“Its going to be a tough as all the divers are ranked in the top three.

“My partnership with Dhabitah is quite new and this is our first year diving together.

“But we are doing the same degree of difficulty as the others and are hoping for the best.”

Mun Yee-Dhabitah will also compete in the 3m springboard synchro today.

“It’ll be a challenge because the weather here is cold, windy and hot at the same time,” said Mun Yee, who has only trained in 3m synchro for three months.

“I’m excited to get started but I’ll keep my focus,” she added.

The other Malaysians in action today are Ooi Tze Liang, Ahmad Amsyar Azman and Mohd Syafiq Puteh in the men’s 1m springboard individual.

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/sport/diving/2018/04/11/newlypaired-mun-yeedhabitah-aim-to-prove-themselves/#iLqwyIroue97lO2m.99

The Star : Welson puts up an overall decent showing Down Under

SWIMMER Welson Sim (pic) wrapped up his campaign at the Commonwealth Games with a creditable showing.

The 21-year-old clocked a time of 15:31.14, just off his personal best of 15:28.34, to finish fifth in the men’s 1,500m freestyle final at the Optus Aquatic Centre yesterday.

Australia’s Jack McLoughlin led the way from start to finish with a time of 14:47.09 while Wales Daniel Jervis finished second (14:48.67) and Olympic champion Mack Horton came in third (14:51.05).

“I’m just short off my personal best but that’s fine because I wasn’t really tapered for this event,” said Welson.

“Overall, it’s been a decent campaign and I know where I need to improve next, added Welson, who made the men’s 400m freestyle final last week.

That was a major achievement as Malaysia never had a swimmer in the final since Alex Lim Keng Liat’s feat in 2006 Melbourne Games.

Meanwhile, para swimmer Carmen Lim can walk tall after putting up a memorable Games debut when the 17-year-old clocked 35.95 in the heats to set a new Asean record in the women’s S8 50m freestyle.

The sweet one-armed girl however only managed 36.85 in the final for a fifth place.

“It felt good to break the record and I hoped to go faster in the final but I ran out of breath in the last 25m,” said Carmen.

“Still its a good showing in my first Commonwealth Games and I’m quite honoured to swim against the top five swimmers of my category,” said the Wales-based swimmer, who is looking to qualify for the Para Asian Games in Jakarta.

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/sport/swimming/2018/04/11/welson-puts-up-an-overall-decent-showing-down-under/#5Ow0QSqkfBTtDESY.99

The NST : Swimmer Keith Lim equals his personal best in Gold Coast

GOLD COAST: Malaysia’s Keith Lim equalled his personal best in the Commonwealth Games men’s 50m freestyle swimming on Monday, but it was not enough to qualify for the semi-finals at the Optus Aquatic Centre.

Keith won heat five by clocking 23.33s. However, he only finished 22nd overall, 0.92 second short of qualifying for the top-16 semi-finals.

“I equalled my personal best today… satisfied with the time as I have not swum this fast since the Sea Games last year. I could have done better or worse, so I am not complaining,” said Keith.

“However, I wasn’t satisfied with my 100m freestyle performance on Sunday. I need to work on my speed to improve my time.”

Compatriot Caroline Chan clocked 30.10s, 0.50 seconds off her national record set at the 2016 Asian Championships in Japan, in the women’s 50m backstroke.

She finished 18th overall.

“I had hoped to break my national record here. I need to learn how to control my nerves and swim better,” said Caroline.

Both Keith and Caroline will compete in next month’s Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur which is a qualifier for the Indonesia Asian Games later this year.

The swimmers ended their campaigns commendably though they did not win medals.

Tern Jian Han and Welson Sim were the stars by reaching the finals of the 50m backstroke and 400m freestyle events.

The Star : Jian Han wants to break more of Alex’s records

 

SWIMMER Tern Jian Han (pic) is setting his sights on new goals after ending his campaign at the Commonwealth Games with mixed reactions.

The 22-year-old is targeting to break two more of Alex Lim Keng Liat’s national records – the 100m and 200m backstroke – this year.

The Johor-born swimmer already took out one of Alex’s records – the 50m backstroke – when he clocked 25.60 in the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games.

Unfortunately, Jian Han could not improve on his timing in the final.

He only managed a time of 25.96 to finish last out of eight swimmers in the final at the Optus Aquatic Centre yesterday.

Mitch Larkin led an Australian 1-2-3 with a time of 24.68, followed by Benjamin Treffers (24.84) and Zac Incerti (25.06).

“I was quite disappointed that I didn’t manage to improve on my timing but I’m happy to have made the final in the first place,” said Jian Han.

“I really couldn’t ask for more this time although I know where I need to improve on now.

“But with that said, I’m also setting new goals for myself this year. I want to break Alex’s two more records.

“I think my timing is not too far off in the 100m and 200m. But I will take it one step at a time and focus on the 100m first.

“Besides that, my goal is also to do well at the Asian Games.”

“Coach Paul Birmingham has already instructed us to start training for it once we return from the Commonwealth Games,” added Jian Han.

Meanwhile, butterfly specialist Chan Jie also had mixed reactions to his Games campaign.

The 22-year-old met his own target by making the semi-finals of the 100m butterfly.

But he couldn’t do any better as he clocked 54.56, off his personal best of 54.05, to finish sixth.

“I’m happy to make the semi-finals but I’m not really satisfied with the timing. It’s not a personal best,” said the Selangor-born swimmer.

“I trained to swim faster but I couldn’t make it. Now I need to go back and work harder because I still want to break the national record.”

Daniel Bego holds the 100m butterfly national record with a time of 53.33 set during the World Championships in 2009.

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/sport/swimming/2018/04/09/jian-han-wants-to-break-more-of-alexs-records/#LM8GA6glbsp4bb2w.99

The Star : Jian Han breaks 16-year national record to reach final in Gold Coast

GOLD COAST: Tern Jian Han made yet another big splash as he smashed Alex Lim Keng Liat’s 16-year national record in the 50m backstroke event.

The 22-year-old clocked a time of 25.60 en route to finishing sixth in the semi-finals at the Commonwealth Games.

The time was good enough to erase Alex’s time of 25.67, which was recorded during the 2002 Manchester Games.

The superb effort also earned Jian Han a place in the final as he qualified as the fifth fastest swimmer.

He is the second Malaysian to make the final at this Games.

Welson Sim made the final in the 400m freestyle on Thursday but only finished seventh.

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/sport/swimming/2018/04/07/jian-han-breaks-16-year-national-record-to-make-final/#F2jPCWaPGVDmeu7g.99

The Star : Welson splashes into 400m final in Gold Coast

 

GOLD COAST: Welson Sim ended Malaysia’s long absence in the pools by making the final of the men’s 400m freestyle event.

The 21-year-old splashed his way to a fourth place finish in his heat with a time of 3:51.78 at the Optus Aquatic Centre on Thursday.

It was certainly not his best timing as it was way off his personal best and national record time of 3:49.48.

But it was just enough for the Sarawakian to squeeze into the final as he was the eighth fastest swimmer.

It is still an achievement for Welson as he is the first Malaysian swimmer in 12 years to make the final at Commonwealth Games.

Alex Lim Keng Liat was the last swimmer to make the final when he made swam in the 50m backstroke event at the 2006 Melbourne Games.

“I think a 3:51 timing in the morning session and to finish fourth in my heats is not too bad,” said a relieved Welson.

“It’s actually quite a dangerous placing and I knew I was just hanging in there but I’m glad to make the final.”

Welson, whose best achievement was winning the Mare Nostrum Tour in Monte Carlo, Monaco last year, will return for the final in the evening session.

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/sport/swimming/2018/04/05/welson-splashes-into-400m-final-in-gold-coast/#8SAE3oZwLBrgrvFx.99

 

The NST : Diving targets four medals, none for swimming

By Aida Adillah Mat

KUALA LUMPUR: The success of national diver Cheong Jun Hoong in upstaging China’s much fancied divers in becoming a world champion has put the national divers in a class of their own leading up to the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia from April 4-15.

However, the danger, or rather threat from English, Canadian and Australian divers cannot be taken lightly.

Looking at the achievements from four years ago at the 2014 Glasgow edition, England dominated the medal haul by winning four golds, followed by Canada (3) and Australia (2). Malaysia did not return from the Games empty handed at the time thanks to Ooi Tze Liang who struck gold in the 2m springboard.

However, the good partnership and understanding between Jun Hoong and the country’s other top female diver, Pandelela Rinong who teamed up to win silver in the 10m synchronised platform at the recent Fina World Series in Beijing, China has brought newfound hope that the national diving team can do better this time round compared to four years ago.

Though the national diving camp is fretting over the injuries to Jun Hoong, Pandelela and Leong Mun Yee as they race against time to get fit and ready for competition.

Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (ASUM) honorary secretary, Mae Chen said that the three divers injuries are not that serious and that the divers preparations are going according to plan so they remain optimistic and confident in being able to do well in Gold Coast.

Mae Chen added that realistically the national divers will be aiming to win four medals which was achieved four years ago in Glasgow (1 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze).

The good form of young divers such as Hanis Nazirul Jaya Surya and Jellson Jabillin are also being banked on as Nur Dhabitah Sabri form has been inconsistent of late.

“I just hope that all the national divers will be able to perform at the Games. Even though Dhabitah did not perform very well at the two recent Fina World Series meets, We are all hoping that she will be back at her best in Gold Coast,” she said.

Meanwhile, five national swimmers, Welson Sim, Chan Jie Tern Jian Han, Keith Lim and Malaysia’s sole female swimmer, Caroline Chan will carry Malaysia’s hopes into the competition pool in Gold Coast.

Based on their recent achievements and timings, any target of a medal is realistically out of reach.

In fact, coach Paul Birmingham has also admitted that the national swimmers do not stand much of a chance in winning medals because they will be competing against world and Olympic champions whose performance and timings are far superior.