MEDALS will be hard to come by for our swimmers as Vietnam and Singapore are expected to lock horns to see who will rule the pool.
Based on the seedings released yesterday, Khiew Hoe Yean (pic) and Phee Jinq En are the only Malaysians who stand a chance of delivering the gold medals.
Hoe Yean has a shot at winning the 200m backstroke as he had clocked the fastest time this year.
The 20-year-old set 2:00.80 in the Malaysian Open last year to break Alex Lim Keng Liat’s previous national record of 2:00.94 that stood for more than 20 years.
Keng Liat set the mark when he won silver at the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok.The gold medal is up for grabs after three-time winner Quah Zheng Wen opted out of the event. The Singaporean won the event from 2015 to 2019 and is now focusing only in the relays.
Hoe Yean took bronze in his 2019 Games debut in the Philippines. He also stands a chance to be on the podium in the 200m and 400m freestyle.
The Kuala Lumpur lad is ranked third and second fastest for the 200m (1:48.77) and 400m (3:50.52).
Welson Sim won the events when Kuala Lumpur hosted the 2017 Games.
But currently the Sarawakian is only ranked fifth and sixth fastest for the 200m (1:49.24) and 400m (3:57.88).
Woman breaststroke specialist Jinq En was a double gold medallist in the Philippines but will have to stave off strong threats from younger and faster rivals.
One of them is Singapore’s Letitia Sim, who is only 19 and based in the United States.
She has the fastest time of 1:07.86 in the 100m breaststroke while Jinq En, 25, starts her fourth Games campaign with her national record of 1:08.40, which she clocked at the Tokyo Olympics last year.
In the 50m breaststroke, Jinq En has the fastest time (31.40) ahead of Thailand’s Jenjira Srisa-Ard (31.41).
But that is just on paper.
With a perfect start, everyone stands a chance of winning the one-lap race.
At the last Games. Singapore topped the standings with 23-10-4 followed by Vietnam (10-6-9) and Malaysia (2-2-3).