JINQ EN WANTS TO MAKE A SPLASH
Swimmer eyes 100m breaststroke record after regaining confidence
PHEE Jinq En hopes to extend Malaysia’s dominance in the women’s 100m breaststroke event since 2009 in style by breaking its Sea Games record in the upcoming Kuala Lumpur edition.
The 20-year-old has regained her confidence since she returned to Malaysia three months ago after completing her freshman season in the United States.
The swimmer enrolled at the Purdue University in Indiana after her maiden outing in the Olympics in Rio last year.
Her progress was affected in Indiana as she was competing actively in the American college meets in short-course (25m) pools.
“I am in better shape and have also adjusted back to the long-course (50m) training pool. I was on speed work training after I rejoined the national team.
"Hopefully, I will be challenging strongly come Sea Games,” said Jinq En.
Jinq En will be defending her 100m breaststroke gold medal, but she is also eying on winning the 50m event as well after finishing second behind Singapore's Roanne Ho two years ago.
The now-retired Siow Yi Ting holds the Sea Games record of 1:09.82 in the 100m breaststroke set at the 2009 Vientiane edition before she retained her title in Palembang two years later.
In 2013 in Myanmar, Christina Loh won the event, followed by Jinq En in 2015 in Singapore.
Jinq En holds the national records for both 50m and 100m distances for breaststroke.
The Selangor-born grabbed attention at last year’s Mare Nostrum Tour, posting a national record of 31.66 en route to winning the gold in the 50m breaststroke in the opening leg in Monaco.
Jinq En’s national 100m breaststroke record is 1:08.65, set at last year’s Malaysian Open, which is still the fastest time in the region.
She will also compete the 200m breaststroke but is not expected to challenge for the title.
Roanne, Thailand’s Phiangkhwan Pawapotako and Indonesia’s Anandia Treciel Vanessae Evato are Jinq En’s main rivals in the Sea Games.
Phee Jinq En holds the national records in the 50m and 100m breaststroke.