Khiew Hoe Yean sets new national record in Fukuoka, diving setup revamp underway

Khiew Hoe Yean sets new national record in Fukuoka, diving setup revamp underway

Swimmer Khiew Hoe Yean achieved an outstanding feat by breaking his own national record in the men’s 800-meter freestyle event at the World Aquatic Championships in Fukuoka, Japan today.

The 20-year-old clocked a solid 8:05.11s to win his heat (heat 1) and emerge as the fastest Southeast Asian swimmer in the event, finishing ahead of Vietnam’s Tran Tuan Anh (8:08.56s), Singapore’s Glen Lim (8:09.90s) and Thailand’s Ratthawit Thammananthachote (8:14.87s).

Hoe Yean’s timing bettered his former national mark of 8:05.38s which he had previously set in December and placed him 29th overall from 39 swimmers in the event at the world meet.

He will take to the pool for the 200m backstroke event on Thursday.

Andrew Goh, who was the only other Malaysia swimmer in action today, placed 37th from 62 swimmers in the men’s 50m breaststroke event after clocking 28.75s in his heat.

Jayden Tan will compete in the men’s 200m individual medley tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the National Sports Council (NSC) and the Malaysia Swimming Federation (MAS) are set to revamp the setup for the national diving programme following a poor showing from the national senior divers in Fukuoka last week.

NSC Athletes Division director Jefri Ngadirin said a technical director, high performance manager and head coach will be appointed, mirroring what is already implemented in sports such as badminton.

“We have received a number of resumes from locals as well as foreigners. The interview for them will be done on Aug 1 and those selected will begin work in September,” said Jefri yesterday.

“The technical director will oversee the big picture while the head coach will be in charge of the elite team. The high performance manager will head our talent development efforts.

“We hope their appointment will help improve the performance of our divers.”

Malaysia failed to win a medal in diving at the world championships this year. The last time Malaysia went home empty handed was during the 2011 edition in China.

While the senior divers lacklustre performances were cause for concern, youngster Bertrand Rhodict Lises, 18, did well to reach the final of the men’s 10m platform individual event and secure qualification to next year’s Paris Olympics.

Source: New Straits Times