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Sabah Para swimmers rule

26th March, 2019


KOTA KINABALU: Sabah swimmers shone the most after clinching the overall title at the Malaysia Open Para Swimming Championship 2019 that ended at the MPK Aquatic Centre in Kuantan, Pahang on Sunday.

They walked away with the overall crown after hauling an impressive 21 gold plus another eight silver and nine bronze medals to eventually edge their closest rivals, Kedah and Melaka, who finished second and third overall respectively.

Head coach Eva Wong hailed the state swimmers for their fine showing in the meet. Obviously, she was happy with the state Para swimmers’ impressive performance that won them the overall champions’ title.

She said the good show did not go unnoticed as the trio of Brenda, Ethan and Halim have been put under the national call-up list for the Para ASEAN Games 2020 in Manila.

“Brenda (too) has been selected and invited by IPC (International Paralympic Council) to participate in the World Series Para swimming.

“Brenda has also qualified for the World Para Swimming Championship 2019,” said Eva who is assisted by Casey Chong.

She also revealed the future plans for the state Para swimmers that include competing in the Arafura Games in April namely Brenda and Halim; World Series in Singapore in May (Brenda); and World Championship in July (Brenda).

In August, there will be a time trial for selected swimmers for the Para ASEAN Games 2020, to be followed by the INAS Global Games in October where the National Sports Council (NSC) will confirm the names.

“In November and December, (selected swimmers) will be attending the national training camp in preparation for the Para ASEAN Games 2020,” Eva said.

She also expressed her sincere thanks to parents as well as schools for their undivided support.

“I would also like to express my sincere thanks to Pesron as well as the Sabah Sports Council for their guidance and support of the Para swimming team,” she said, while revealing that they will be holding a Talent Camp from May 21-25 in Sandakan as well as Penampang.

At the meet, Brenda Anellia Larry starred for the state team by winning the most number of gold medals. The SMK Taman Tun Fuad student won a total of eight gold medals, followed by Abdul Halim Mohammed with seven gold, while Ethan Khoo won four gold as well as set a new national record.

Brenda clinched her gold medals in the 50m and 100m events for freestyle, breaststroke and backstroke, while also winning the 50m butterfly and 150m Individual Medley (IM) finals.

Abdul Halim won his gold medals in the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle before adding further gold medals from the 50m and 100m breaststroke, 50m butterfly and 200m Ind Medley in the S9/SB8/S9 category.

Ethan Khoo Yi Jun of Rhema Educare contributed four gold medals of which one was from the Open event, while another three in the Under-15 event.

Competing in the 214/SB14/S14 class, Ethan clocked 2:11.24s to take the gold and also set a new national record for the Men’s Open 200m freestyle. The old mark was 2:20.72s.

He also won silver in the 200m IM and bronze in the 50m backstroke in the Open competition. In the Under-15 event, the promising Ethan won three gold medals in the 50m backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle while adding a silver medal in the 50m butterfly.

Sabah’s other gold medallists were Chia Faang Jaan of SM Kian Kok and Norazlan Setoh.

Chia, 14, won the S5/SB4/SM5 Class 50m butterfly event and also added two silver medals from the 100m breaststroke and 200m freestyle as well as three bronze medals in the 50m freestyle, backstroke and butterfly.

As for Norazlan, he won the 200m freestyle gold in the S13/SB13 Class while adding a silver in the 100m freestyle and three bronze medals in the 50m and 100m breaststroke and 50m freestyle.

Sabah’s other medals were won by SJK (C) St. Peter Telipok student Jonathan Wong Zee Siang where he won two silver (50m backstroke and butterfly) and one bronze (100m backstroke) in the S5/SB4/S5 category.

Chloe Lim of Program Pendidikan Khas Intergrasi SK Penampang won two silver (50m and 100m breaststroke) and one bronze medal (100m freestyle) in the S9/SB9/S9 Class while Louis Simon of Papar claimed a bronze in the 50m backstroke for S9/SB8/S9 Class.

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