ANOTHER GOOD SHOW: Soon Choy, Cai Lin and Yi Ting in golden performanceMalaysia capped a memorable night by winning three gold medals to silence the jeering fans at the Jakabaring Aquatic Arena yesterday.
An experienced Kevin Yeap Soon Choy finally earned his first Sea Games title on the day Khoo Cai Lin and Siow Yi Ting won their receptive events.
Soon Choy maintained Malaysia's stranglehold in the men's 400m freestyle touching in at 3:55.07, 0.88 seconds faster than Thailand silver medallist and favourite Sari Tiewong. Singapore's Kevin Matthews finished third on 3:58.48.
The 22-year-old paced himself throughout the race by taking it slowly in the first 200 metres before increasing his speed in the final half of the race, which was won by compatriot Daniel Bego at the 2009 Laos Sea Games.
Soon Choy was 20 metres behind Sari but the Malaysian managed to catch the Thai and touched ahead to win the title.
"I have finally won a Sea Games title. It feels good," said the delighted Soon Choy yesterday.
"I failed in my previous Sea Games outings as I pushed too hard in the opening half of the race before losing pace in the final 200 metres. I did it differently this time by pacing myself.
"Sari was the hot favourite but I managed to beat him today (yesterday) and to be frank, I was too focused on the race to notice anything."
Siow Yi Ting returned from a one-year study break to retain her women's 100m breaststroke title. Yi Ting was pursued closely by compatriot Christina Low Yen Ling but she surged ahead to clock the winning time of 1:10.55.
Yen Ling made a one-two for Malaysia by recording 1:10.57 while the bronze was won by Thailand's Chavuninooch Salubluek on 1:11.69.
Yi Ting and Yen Ling also surpassed the Olympic B category timing but only one would get to compete in London if neither qualify under A.
Cai Lin regained her women's 800m freestyle with 8:50.17, ahead of Thailand's Natthanan Jungkrajang (8:55.51) and Indonesia's Raina Saumi (9:02.81). She swam a near perfect as she led from start-to-finish to ease to the finish line.
Cai Lin later anchored Malaysia to a bronze in the women's 4x100m freestyle, clocking 3:55.27, behind champions Singapore (3:48.38) and Thailand (3:51.76).
Malaysia have so far won three gold and five silver and one bronze with two days of competition left.