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SEMARANG (Indonesia), Aug 4 (Bernama) -- “I saw my mother crying out of joy seeing me win the gold medal,” said national para swimmer Ethan Yin Jun Khoo after clinching his third gold medal at the ongoing ASEAN Para Games APG.
After having won the men’s 100m freestyle and 200m individual medley previously, Ethan today bagged the men’s 200m freestyle S14 (intellectual impairment) gold at the Jatidiri Swimming Centre, here.
The 18-year-old completed his APG debut in style with also a new Games record of two minutes and 05.250 seconds, erasing the previous mark of 2:14.94s held by Tang Eng Kiong of Singapore since the 2015 edition in the island state.
It was Ethan’s second Games record, finishing ahead of Thailand’s Wachirawit In-Choo (2:07.590s) and the host’s Kevin Ode Natama (2:14.560s), after having improved on the APG 100m freestyle S14 mark yesterday.
Speaking to Bernama after the prize-giving ceremony, Ethan was pleased with his achievement, especially when seeing his parents Datuk Khoo Thau Yong and Christina Math Kin Ling proudly watching him winning from the stands.
“I really worked hard for the past three years, training without competitions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, I made my parents proud watching me win outside of home soil for the first time,” said the Sandakan-born.
The proud father, Khoo, was delighted to witness his son’s years of hard work and effort bear fruit, including his recent two-month Australia training stint.
“Actually, it was my wife who sent him to a swimming club, from there we came to know about para swimming. He excelled, so now he is an APG champion. When we found out about his condition (impairment), we had to accept it and never doubted our son, we helped him grow and let him do what he likes,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Jatidiri Swimming Centre continued to be a ‘gold fishing pond’ for the Malaysian contingent, as the swimmers bagged the gold in all the five events they competed in today.
Tokyo 2020 paralympian Muhammad Nur Syaiful Zulkafli triumphed in the men’s 50 freestyle S5 (physical impairment) by clocking 33.35s, erasing the previous mark of 34:50s set by Vietnamese Vo Thanh Tung in 2015.
Brenda Anellia Larry bagged the women’s 100m breaststroke SB4 (physical impairment) by clocking 2:38.170s, Fraidden Dawan (2:36.44s) won in the men's 200m individual medley SM10 (physical impairment), while Lee Kher Zy (3:42.340s) clinched the men's 200m individual medley SM5 (physical impairment) gold.
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