By LIM TEIK HUAT
KUALA LUMPUR: National swimmer Khoo Cai Lin was not in the pink of health but she still put up a smashing performance to erase the last remaining long-standing national record held by the legendary Nurul Huda Abdullah at the National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
Cai Lin powered her way to the 200m butterfly gold medal in 2:16.11 to smash the 20-year-old national record of 2:16.83 set by Nurul.
Sarawakian Hii Siew Siew, the bronze medallist at the Korat SEA Games, took silver in 2:20.94 while Mohana Vijayan clocked 2:27.05 for the bronze medal.
The women’s 200m butterfly time set by Nurul when she ruled the pools at the 1989 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games was the longest standing national swimming record and Cai Lin was delighted to have erased it.
The 20-year-old Cai Lin is already the holder of all the middle and long distance national records previously held by Nurul.
Cai Lin did not swim the 400m freestyle because she was not feeling well and her performance yesterday came as a surprise.
“I was still tired after finishing the World Championships in Rome. But I felt good after diving into the water. I have always wanted to break all her (Nurul’s) national records and it feels good to have taken the last one down,” said Cai Lin, the SEA Games gold medallist at the 400m and 800m freestyle two years ago.
There was also joy for Sabah swimmer Chui Lai Kwan, who pulled off a double victory en route to earning qualification for the Laos SEA Games.
Despite the lack of serious training, Chui Lai Kwan won the women’s 100m backstroke in 1:05.43, which was not far off her national record of 1:05.27 set in earning silver at the Korat SEA Games.
Lai Kwan beat the SEA Games qualifying mark of 26.79 in winning the 50m freestyle gold in 26.34.