Monday, December 14, 2009

Yi Ting continues her golden show

SIOW Yi Ting isn't done yet with the 25th Sea Games, but yesterday the 24-year-old made sure of her best ever performance in the biennial event with her third gold medal in record time at the National Sports Complex aquatics centre in Vientiane.

The 200m breaststroke gold medal was delivered after Yi Ting had spent the whole of Friday resting, trying her best to recover from a fever which struck her on Thursday.

She still managed to crack her own eight-year old Sea Games record of two minutes 31.90 seconds set at the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games in 2001 with a new mark of 2:30.35s.

Yi Ting led right from the start, leaving second-placed Cheryl Lim a clear four seconds behind when she hit the board the final time. This victory completely erased the bitter memory of Yi Ting's disappointment in Korat two years ago where she lost both the 100m and 200m breaststroke to Singapore's Nicolette Teo.

Her third gold medal and record, added to the 200m individual medley and the 100m breaststroke she won in record times, equalled Yi Ting's best medal haul in the Sea Games, but with a perfect three out of three Games records, this is already her best ever performance.

"I'm happy with the achievement, but I know I could have swam a lot faster today (yesterday) and also break my personal best which is the national record," said Yi Ting, whose national mark of 2:27.80s was set at the Beijing Olympics last year.

"I was a little worried at first because I fell a little sick two days ago and that affected me a bit, but I was lucky to have won the 100m breaststroke and set a new record as well. After that, I just spent the whole of yesterday (Saturday) resting to get myself well for today (yesterday).

"I was still feeling a little weak, but breaking this Sea Games record was good because it's been there for eight years. So, we needed something refreshing."

Yi Ting will be down for the 400m individual medley today, which will provide her fourth gold medal should she triumph, but she remains optimistic about her chances.

"I will stay positive and rest as much as I can. It will be a good race against (Quah) Ting Wen (of Singapore). It has been some time since I've raced her. If I could win the 400 individual medley, that would be the bonus," said Yi Ting.

The swimming pool also provided two silver medals yesterday, through men's 1,500m freestyle swimmer Kevin Yeap, who was well beaten by Filipino Ryan Arabejo.

The women's 4x100m medley quartet of Yi Ting, Chui Lai Kwan, Marellyn Liew and Khoo Cai Lin took the silver behind Singapore, despite taking six seconds off the national record of 4:19.33s set by the quartet of Chai Sook Fun, Yi Ting, Luisa Los Santos and Leung Chii Lin in Korat two years ago, with a new time of 4:13.18s.

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