Hoe Yean: Final in first Asiad would be a dream come true

KUALA LUMPUR: National men's swimming ace, Khiew Hoe Yean has his eyes fixed on making the final of his maiden Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

While acknowledging the fact that getting a medal at the Hangzhou Asiad is going to be a tall order, Hoe Yean said that making the cut to the final for his pet event, the men's 400 metres (m) freestyle would be a dream come true for him.

"I want to go out there and try to gain experience in Hangzhou. I know the Asian Games takes place once every four years and this is definitely bigger than the SEA Games.

"I hope I will improve my performance there. Even though it's not easy to advance to the final, I will definitely give it a try," he told Bernama when met recently.

Apart from the men's 400m freestyle, the 21-year-old is also slated to compete in the men's 200m freestyle in Hangzhou.

Meanwhile, Hoe Yean is looking forward to competing against South Korean ace, Kim Woo-min and his Southeast Asian nemesis, Vietnam's Nguyen Huy Hoang should they meet in the upcoming Asiad.

Last July, Woo-min became the sole Asian swimmer and finished fifth in the men's 400m freestyle at the 2023 World Aquatic Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.

Huy Hoang, on the other hand, is a three-time men's 400m freestyle SEA Games gold medallist (2019, 2021 and this year).

In the meantime, the men's 400m freestyle national record holder admitted that his final lap of preparation leading up to the upcoming Asian Games has been pretty tough so far.

The men's 200m freestyle SEA Games champion said that he is still finding his way to get back to form in training after returning home from two back-to-back meets – the 2023 World Aquatic Championships followed by the 31st World University Games – last month.

The 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games is scheduled to kick off from September 23 until October 8. - BERNAMA

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