HANOI: The Malaysian men's 4x200m swimming team upstaged a Singapore side powered by former Olympic champion Joseph Schooling at the Hanoi Sea Games today.
The Malaysian team, consisting of Welson Sim, Lim Yin Chuen, Arvin Shaun Singh and Khiew Hoe Yean, claimed a hard-earned silver and set a national record of seven minutes, 19.750 seconds. The previous mark was 7:26.74 clocked by Welson, Lim Ching Hwang, Kevin Yeap and Vernon Lee at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Hosts Vietnam, with Nguyen Huu Kim Son, Nguyen Huy Hoang, Hoang Quy Phuoc and Tran Hung Nguyen, took the gold in a new meet record of 7:16.31s, eclipsing the previous mark of 7:17.88s set by Singapore in 2019.
Singapore, with Schooling, Jonathan Tan, Glen Lim and Joseph Quah started the day as defending champions, but ended up third on 7:21.49s.
A delighted Welson said his team had nothing to lose against their more favoured opponents.
"Our team have good chemistry, we knew we had a chance of breaking the national record if everything went well. I think we were all good.
"It all came down to mental strength in the end. In high level competitions, anything can happen and you can screw up in the middle of a race (due to pressure).
"It is always nice to beat our rivals. For many Sea Games, we were unable to put up a fight against Singapore but this time we were swimming head-to-head with them, and even with Vietnam," said Welson.
In other events today, Malaysia's Job Tan won a surprise bronze in the men's 200m breaststroke after clocking 2:17.68s. Singapore's Maximillian Ang took the gold on 2:11.93s while Vietnam's Bao Pham Thanh was second (2:12.09s).
50m backstroke: 1 Quah Zheng Wen (Sin) 25.83s, 2 Nguyen Paul Le (Vie) 25.86s, 3 Gede Siman Sudartawa (Ina) 25.88s. 7 Arvin Shaun Singh (Mas) 27.23s.
200m breaststroke: 1 Maximillian Ang (Sin) 2:11.93s, 2 Bao Pham Thanh (Vie) 2:12.09s, 3 Job Tan (Mas) 2:17.68s. 8 Hii Puong Wei (Mas) 2:21.04s.
4x200m freestyle: 1 Vietnam 7:16.31s, 2 Malaysia (Arvin Shaun Singh, Khiew Hoe Yean, Welson Sim, Lim Yin Chuen) 7:19.75s, 3 Singapore 7:21.49s