TIME is running out for Daniel Bego to qualify for the London Olympics.
Daniel is not in prime condition for the Malaysian Open, which starts on Thursday, as he has trained little since coming down with flu last week.
The 23-year-old, who starred with a five-gold haul at the 2009 Laos Sea Games, needs to train hard as he has not been at his best since undergoing surgery on both shoulders last April to correct a long-standing bone spur problem.
He returned to competition at last month's National Age-Group Championships but despite winning the 50m butterfly, he clocked average times.
National coach Paul Birmingham doesn't have much hope that Daniel can make it to London as he is not in shape to qualify for the Olympics.
"I rather focus on the other swimmers who are putting a lot more effort in training. I like their attitude," said Birmingham at the National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
"Talent is not everything, one needs to train hard to make an impact in this sport."
On Daniel's participation in the Malaysian Open, Birmingham said he was unsure.
"I was hoping to see Daniel do faster times than he did at the national age-group meet but at the rate he is going, I don't think he can make that push.
"Daniel, I believe, still has the desire to swim competitively but his shoulders are giving him problems. It is not easy to come back from shoulder surgeries," he said.
Kevin Yeap, Christina Loh, Khoo Cai Lin and Siow Yi Ting are the only ones who have met Olympic invitational times.
The Malaysian Open is one of three competitions remaining for the local swimmers to qualify for the London Games. The other competitions are the Southeast Asian Championships and Singapore Open.