MANILA, Dec 1 (Bernama) -- Malaysia's Daniel Bego captured the gold medal in style in the men's 100m butterfly on the third day of the 23rd SEA Games swimming competition, held at the Trace College Aquatics Centre in Los Banos near here Thursday.
Daniel stole the limelight after clocking 55.84 seconds, while Indonesia's Donny B Utomo took the silver medal in 56.17s. Malaysia's Alex Lim Keng Liat who was targeted to win this event had to be satisfied with the bronze, coming in at 56.26s.
Fifteen-year-old Daniel who hails from Sarawak, said he had not expected to win the event.
"Kimbeley Yap's win in the triathlon in the morning just fired me up to go for the gold. I also want to thank my family, especially my mom and dad, my sisters and my coach who came at the last minute just to see me perform today," said Daniel, who also won a silver medal Wednesday.
In an earlier race, Keng Liat had clinched the gold medal in the 100m backstroke men's individual in 56.97s.
Singapore's Mark Chay Jung Jun clocked 58.49s for the silver medal while the bronze went to Suriya Supsuphak of Thailand who clocked 58.76s.
Keng Liat said he was satisfied that he had won a gold medal but was unhappy with the organisers.
"Normally, after two events they follow with the prize giving ceremony.But today they wanted to do three events in row. I am dissappointed because I already had told them that I had just finished my first event and needed at least 20-30 minutes to rest but they wouldn't listen. Anyway I am still happy Daniel won it for Malaysia," he said.
Meanwhile, women's 100m backstroke swimmer Chui Lai Kwan unexpectedly won the silver medal in the event.
Not only that, but her time of 1 minute 05.27 seconds also broke the 1:06:00s national record set by Chai Sook Fun during the 41st National Age Group Aquatic Championships in April this year.
The gold was won by Singapore's Tao Li who also broke the SEA Games record made by Chonlathorn Vorathamrong of Thailand in 2001 after clocking 1:03.83s. Chonlathorn clocked 1:05.28s to come in third.
KIMBELEY Yap was a former national swimmer who only took up triathlon in April as a challenge.
No wonder then that many questioned if the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) had done the right thing by sending her to the SEA Games.
Yesterday, the 20-year-old Kimbeley gave an emphatic answer by delivering a surprise gold for Malaysia at Subic Bay.
Triathlon was contested for the first time in the Games. And Kimbeley swam, cycled and ran her way into the history books as the first women’s winner.
Kimbeley, the half sister of national swimmer Daniel Bego, came out of the water first in the 16km swim. It stayed that way after the 40km cycling leg and Kimbeley went on to complete the 10km run, recording a winning time of 2’14:33.
Pre-race favourite Sandra Araullo of the Philippines finished 1:30 behind for silver and bronze medallist Allisha Ng of Singapore was 3:30 slower than Kimbeley.
For Kimbeley, the win was certainly sweet, not just because she competed as a Category B athlete but also because she had contemplated pulling out after incurring a shin bone injury just before leaving for Subic Bay.
As a swimmer, Kimbeley represented Malaysia in two previous Games. On both occasions, she won the bronze medal as a member of the relay team.
Athletes under Category B pay their own expenses to compete in the Games but get a reimbursement from the OCM if they get at least a silver.
“I was not feeling good about my chances because of my condition. But with proper treatment, it got better,” said Kimbeley, who won the Desaru Triathlon in June.
“I certainly did not expect to win the gold. The competitors from the host country had the advantage because they knew the course well. But after the good lead from the swimming leg, I knew I was in with a shot for the gold.”
Team manager Lau Kong Yen said: “We knew Kimbeley was capable of achieving something but it is certainly not easy to predict the winner in the triathlon.
“Araullo was the favourite. She went to compete in Australia and the United States to get ready for the Games.”
With Kimbeley having snatched a surprise gold medal, US-based Loh Yeong Shang will certainly be inspired to do the same in the men’s race today.
Parent site: "Focus on Malaysia"