KUALA LUMPUR: Rising star Khiew Hoe Yean kickstarted the year by winning all three races he contested, while dipping under the Sea Games qualifying mark on the first day of the Milo age-group swimming championships today.
The 19-year-old, who burst onto the scene with record breaking performances at last year's Malaysian Open, began by winning the 1500m freestyle in 15:46.86 for the Ikan Bilis Swimming Club (IBSC) at the National Aquatic Centre, Bukit Jalil.
Teammates Jayden Tan took the silver with a time of 15:50.02 followed by Sebastian Soon for bronze with 15:54.41.
Hoe Yean was however not done yet as he came back in the evening session by meeting the Vietnam Sea Games qualifying mark in the 200m backstroke (17-25 age-group). He clocked 2:03.76 for the win while Terrence Ng of Pade Supersharkz took silver with 2:10.36. Hoe Yean's brother, Tze Yean, finished third with 2:13.77.
The Sea Games third place qualifying mark for the 200m backstroke is 2:03.89, set by Hoe Yean himself when he took bronze in the Philippines in 2019.
Hoe Yean is also the national record holder in his pet 200m backstroke event, which saw him swimming 2:00.80 at the Malaysian Open last year to erase the previous mark of 2:00.94 set by Alex Lim in 1998.
Hoe Yean then finished strongly by winning the 100m freestyle with a time of 51:07 followed by Terrence (51.94) and Low Ken Ji (52.63).
"It went pretty well for me being my first competition for this year," said Hoe Yean.
"We were treating it more like a training meet but I gave my 100 per cent in the three finals.
"It was not easy to train under the current Covid situation, and I believe I will be able to go faster once I begin to taper for the Sea Games later this year," said Hoe Yean, who is set to enrol for a Bachelor of Computer Science undergraduate programme at UCSI after Chinese New Year.
It's going to be a busy year for the Kuala Lumpur-born teenager as he also aims to earn a spot in the national team for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and Hangzhou Asian Games later this year.
IBSC are also counting on another prodigy to stamp his mark over the next two days. Dhuha Zulkifli launched his bid for a clean sweep in the boys' 13-14 age-group by winning the 100m freestyle (54.13) and 200m individual medley (2:15.95).
1500m freestyle: 1. Khiew Hoe Yean 15:46.86, 2. Jayden Tan 15:50.02, 3. Sebastian Soon 15:54.41.
100m freestyle: 1. Dhuha Zulkifli 54.13, 2. Lim Kai Yi 57.21, 3. Ang Yong Jun 57.61.
200m individual medley: 1. Dhuha Zulkifli 2:15.95, 2. Lim Kai Yi 2:21.13, 3. Aslan Adnan 2:21.28.
100m freestyle: 1. Tong Yu Jing 53.27, 2. Fo En Rui 54.48, 3. Samuel Ng 54.85.
200m backstroke: 1. Loke Yew Jien 2:19.93, 2. Arif Zulfikry 2:20.51, 3. Matthew Tang 2:23.79.
200m individual medley: 1. Ng Yean Yu 2:16.34, 2. Rio Shirai 2:18.96, 3. Jeff Chua 2:19.84.
100m freestyle: 1. Khiew Hoe Yean 51.07, 2. Terrence Ng 51.94, 3. Low Ken Ji 52.63.
200m backstroke: 1. Khiew Hoe Yean 2:03.76, 2. Terrence Ng 2:10.36, 3. Khiew Tze Yean 2:13.77.
200m individual medley: 1. Hii Puong Wei 2:05.86, 2. Arvin Shaun Singh Chahal 2:10.68, 3. Edric Ong 2:16.53.
800m individual mMedley: 1. Hooy Jia Yee 9:46.09, 2. Yeap Mei Kuan 9:47.64, 3. Georgene Wee 9:50.53.
100m freestyle: 1. Loo Yie Bing 57.95, 2. Rachel van Pul 1:02.38, 3. Yoong Jia Jia 1:02.45.
200m backstroke: 1. Chong Xin Lin 2:27.52, 2. Khew Zi Xian 2:38.20, 3. Hayley Cassandra Yap 2:40.21.
200m individual medley: 1. Chong Xin Lin 2:29.65, 2. Yoong Jia Jia 2:34.63, 3. Rachel van Pul 2:37.94.
100m freestyle: 1. Kelly Teo 59.29, 2. Hooy Jia Yee 1:00.60, 2. Yeap Mei Kuan 1:01.80.
200m backstroke: 1. Tan Rouxin 2:28.93, 2. Mabel Ho 2:32.99, 3. Regina Cheong 2:40.03.
200m iIndividual medley: 1. Tan Rouxin 2:27.27, 2. Magdalene Lau 2:33.35, 3. Yap Inn She 2:36.65.
100m freestyle: 1. Leong Wan Mei 59.48, 2. Thien Oi Yee 1:01.88, 3. Naomi Tan 1:02.66.
200m backstroke: 1. Christy Teh 2:35.12, 2. Ashley Ting 2:38.17, 3. Natasha Teo 2:38.44.
200m individual medley: 1. Ong Yong Qi 2:27.62, 2. Georgene Wee 2:33.69, 3. Keesha Ho 2:34.96.