KEVIN Yeap continued his fine form in the Malaysian Open when he improved his Olympic invitational qualifying time in the men's 1,500m freestyle event by eight seconds at the Bukit Jalil Aquatics complex yesterday.
Kevin, who on Saturday came close to beating the Olympic invitational time in the 400m freestyle, won the event in a meet record time of 15 minutes 32.51 seconds. In second place was Sarawak's Vernon Lee who clocked 15:51.27s while India's Saurabh Sangvekar took the bronze in 15:56.30s.
Kevin had met the Olympic invitational standard of 15:43.74s for the event at the Singapore National Age-Group Championships in March where he managed 15:40.54s for the event.
"I really did not expect my performance to increase by so much in such a short space of time.
"In Singapore (national age group) I managed to cut my personal best by 12 seconds and improved another eight seconds here, so this is a great result for me," said Kevin.
"I believe I can continue to improve and will not waste any time. I will continue to work hard. I hope to put in a faster time at the Sea Championships in Singapore next month."
Kevin, however, believes dipping below the Olympic 'A' qualifying time of 15:11.83s, which guarantees automatic qualification for the Games, is out of reach.
"I think making the 'A' time will be quite hard for me, but as long as I can keep improving my times, my dream of making the Olympics will become more realistic," he said.
Meanwhile, the women's 800m freestyle event saw Khoo Cai Lin dip below the Olympic invitational time for a second time to win the event. Cai Lin clocked 8:49.98s to take the gold from Indonesia's Raina Saumi Grahana who clocked 9:02.16s. Third was Hong Kong's Natasha Tang who managed 9:05.24s.
Cai Lin became the first Malaysian swimmer to meet the Olympic invitational time for the London Games when she clocked 8:48.53s in the event at the Malaysian Open last year. By Fadhli Ishak