JINQ EN WANTS TO MAKE A SPLASH

Swim­mer eyes 100m breast­stroke record af­ter re­gain­ing con­fi­dence

New Straits Times - - Sport - AJIT­PAL SINGH ajit­pals­ingh@nst.com.my

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.

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