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Borneo, Sarawak, Sarawakian

Daniel Bego on track to swim at London Olympics

IT is great to hear that Sarawak’s swimming star Daniel Bego is back in the pool and winning!

This month, Daniel won the gold for the 50m butterfly in the 18-and-above category at the National Age-Group Championship in Bukit Jalil. It was his first title in about a year!

You may have been wandering what has happened to the 23-year-old. Well he underwent surgery twice to his shoulders last year.

It was apparently to correct a long-standing bone spur problem, which can cause extreme pain in contact with soft tissue or ligaments.

Although he only clocked 26.38, well behind his national record of 24.38 set during the 2009 World Championships in Italy, it is a good start because it shows he’s given his body time to properly heal.

It has probably been a really hard time for national swimmer as he has only until the end of June to qualify for a second Olympic stint.

The coaching team had hoped to put him in the squad for the SEA Games in Palembang last November, but the focus was to get him 100 per cent so that he can book a ticket to London.

He was the sole Malaysian male swimmer to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and is surely very determined to make the Olympics yet again.

Daniel won five gold medals at the 2009 Laos SEA Games in the 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle; as well as 100m and 200m butterfly. He also broke three SEA Games records for all three freestyle events and is still the current record holder for them. No surprise then that he was named the Best Male Athlete for that SEA Games!

He also won two gold medals at the 24th SEA Games in 2007 and set two SEA Games records then.

Daniel holds six individual national swimming records and two freestyle team relay records, making him Malaysia’s most successful swimmer to date.

If he has really recovered from his surgery and continues his determined training, he should do well at next month’s Malaysian Open and hopefully get his Olympic ticket.

There’s also the South-East Asia Open championship in Singapore in June — the last chance to get a qualifying time for London.

All the best Daniel. You’ve got all of Sarawak, and Malaysia, behind you.

A report from the New Straits Times:

SWIMMING: Win rejuvenates Daniel

By AJITPAL SINGH

OLYMPICS: Sarawakian sets sight on qualifying for London

Swimming

DANIEL Bego won his first title in 12 months at the National Age-Group Championships in Bukit Jalil yesterday but it was not enough to earn him a spot at the London Olympic Games.

The 23-year-old, representing Sarawak, clocked 26.38 to win the 50 metres butterfly in the 18-and-above category, 0.05 seconds ahead of Kuala Lumpur’s Andrew Loh. Selangor’s Clement David Leong won bronze with 26.75.

It may not have been Daniel’s best timing but the victory will definitely inspire him to train harder for next month’s Malaysian Open, where he aims to meet Olympic qualifying timings for the London Games.

Daniel underwent two shoulder surgeries to correct a long standing bone spur problem in April and June last year. He was supposed to return to the pool at the Indonesia Sea Games but withdrew after it was found that his shoulders were not properly healed.

Daniel, who was second in the 100m freestyle on Friday, was surprised with his victory.

“I’m still far off my best but the win here has certainly made me more confident to try harder for Olympic qualification in next month’s Malaysian Open,” said Daniel at the National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

He needs to make the Olympic invitational time before the deadline in June to have any chance of competing in London.

In yesterday’s junior competitions, Selangor swimmers re-wrote three meets records.

Asmalia Filzati Redzuan bettered Erika Kong’s four-year record of 30.19 in the girls’ 11-12 50m butterfly in 30.11 while Yap Siew Hui erased a seven-year meet record in the girls’ 13-14 50m butterfly. Siew Hui posted 28.95 to better Leung Chii Lin’s previous record of 29.60.

Annika Winsnes also erased Chii Lin’s meet record of 28.91 in the girls’ 15-17 50m butterfly after recording 28.83.

How the Star reported it:

Daniel boosts hopes of earning a second straight Olympic ticket

By LIM TEIK HUAT

KUALA LUMPUR: Daniel Bego gave his hopes of earning a second consecutive Olympic appearance a boost by winning the 50m butterfly race at the National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil.

It was a welcome return to the pool for the 23-year-old after a year out recovering from shoulder injuries.

Daniel won the 50m butterfly, in the 18 and over category, in 26.38 for Sarawak while Kuala Lumpur’s Andrew Loh was second (26.43) in the national age-group meet, which doubles up as an Olympic qualifier.

While it was far from his best, Daniel, who holds the national record of 24.38, will take heart with his progress as he only resumed training early this year.

Daniel underwent two operations on his shoulder to correct a long-standing bone spur problem in April and June last year.

He subsequently missed the chance to defend the five SEA Games gold medals he won in Laos 2009 as the doctor ruled that he was not ready for the strains of competition in Indonesia last November.

Daniel, who finished second in the 100m freestyle on the first day of competition on Friday, did not harbour high expectations on his comeback.

“I haven’t competed for so long and just want to see where I stand at the moment,” said Daniel, who was the Best Sportsman of the Laos 2009 for breaking four Games records.

Daniel has to meet the Olympic invitational time before the end of June to have any chance of competing in the London Games.

He only has the Malaysian Open next month and the inaugural South-East Asia Open championship in Singapore in June to beat the qualifying mark.

The Selangor juniors were in record-breaking mood in the girls’ 50m butterfly races yesterday.

Asmalia Filzati Redzuan erased Erika Kong’s meet record of 30.19 set in 2008 in winning the girls’ 11-12 in 30.11 while Yap Siew Hui smashed a seven-year mark in the girls’ 13-14.

Siew Hui clocked 28.95 to better Leung Chii Lin’s previous record of 29.60 set in 2005.

Annika Winsnes also rewrote Chii Lin’s meet record of 28.91 in the girls’ 15-17 with a winning time of 28.83.

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