Wednesday, March 2, 2011

More swimming events for Indonesia SEA Games

PETALING JAYA: Olympic sports cycling, shooting and gymnastics had a significant number of events dropped from the Indonesia SEA Games at the end of the year but it was the reverse for aquatics.
For the first time, the butterfly, breaststroke and backstroke races over the 50m distance for men and women will be contested in the biennial Games.

The six events have been included in the swimming programme for competitions that will be held in Palembang from Nov 11-25 and it will be a boost to the Malaysian aquatics team’s bid to contribute the most number of gold medals for the contingent.

Aquatics will offer the most number of gold medals in the Games, which feature 44 sports. There will be 38 gold medals at stake in swimming and another eight will be up for grabs in diving.
The Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) secretary, Edwin Chong, said that the SEA Games swimming programme would follow the world championships for the first time.

“Only the 50m freestyle was contested previously but Indonesia have added the breaststroke, butterfly and backstroke races this time,” he said.

“Indonesia definitely are expecting their swimmers to challenge strongly for medals in the new events. They have good swimmers for the men’s competitions but we can expect our women to deliver too.”

Indonesia will be counting on Glenn Victor Sutanto and Indra Gunawan to come out on tops in the men’s backstroke and breaststroke short races respectively. At the last Games in Laos, Glenn won the 100m backstroke gold medal while Indra took silver in the 100m breaststroke.

For Malaysia, Chui Lai Kwan is a good prospect for gold in the women’s backstroke and freestyle short races while Christina Loh is expected to join forces with the United States-based Siow Yi Ying for the breaststroke disciplines.

“We can still count on Khoo Cai Lin for the women’s middle and long distance races. Daniel Bego will also face stronger challenges but is still a good bet to win in the men’s races,” said Edwin.
At the 2009 Games in Vientiane, the Malaysian aquatics team won 15 gold medals and nine of them came from the swimmers.

Daniel made the biggest splash for the Malaysian contingent with a five-gold haul with four of the races won in record times.


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