PETALING JAYA: Khiew Hoe Yean has shown he will carry the Malaysian swimming torch at the Paris 2024 Olympics after an impressive outing in Spain.
The 18-year-old won gold in the men’s 400m freestyle in 3: 50.77. Spaniard Miguel Duran Navia took silver in 3: 52.01 while Frenchman Tommy-Lee Camblong took bronze in 3: 52.53 at the Spanish swimming championship in Astralpool.
In the same competition, Hoe Yean also twice broke the national 400m individual medley record of 4: 28.34 held by his training partner Sebastian Soon.
He advanced to the preliminary heats final with a personal best 4: 26.76.
Hoe Yean then lowered the time to 4: 24.83 when he finished fourth in the final.
Hoe Yean was particularly thrilled to secure his first victory in Europe which will make him the swimmer to watch for the next few years.
The boy from Kuala Lumpur first rose to prominence when he won seven gold medals at the 2019 Asean School Games in Indonesia.
âI’m happy to improve on my previous personal best of 3: 51.56 reached at the Malaysian Open in June.
âI haven’t had the chance to swim a lot of competitions because of Covid-19 and I want to take this opportunity to post some good times,â he said.
Welson Sim’s national record of 3: 49.29 is in jeopardy if Hoe Yean continues to improve over the next 12 months.
It’s certainly something the young swimmer is considering as he claims to be part of Malaysia’s swim team at the upcoming Olympics.
Hoe Yean has previously beaten Welson, 24, who competed in the Tokyo Olympics, in the 200m and 400m freestyle at the Malaysian Open.