Heidi Gan won Malaysia a historic gold medal in the women’s 10km event of the Asian Open Water Swimming Championships at the Putrajaya Lake today. NSTP file pic

KUALA LUMPUR: Heidi Gan won Malaysia a historic gold medal in the women’s 10km event of the Asian Open Water Swimming Championships at the Putrajaya Lake today.

The 28-year-old overtook Kazakhstan's Xeniya Romanchuk after the final loop to become the first Malaysian to win a title at the Asian meet.

Former national swimmer Kevin Yeap also finished on the podium with a bronze in the men’s 10km event.

Heidi finished the race, held in sweltering heat, in 2’17:00.773.

Romanchuk won silver with 2’21:04.210, while Thailand's Benjaporn Sriphanomthom took third in 2’22:50.736.

"Coach Matt Magee had a strategy for me to keep pace with the Japanese swimmers.

“They were the favourites, but the humidity affected them," said Heidi.

The win puts Heidi on a good stead to win the gold medal in the same event at the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games in Aug.

RESULTS

Men’s

10km:

1. Vitaliy Khudyakov (Kaz) 2’05:26.623, 2. Cho Cheng-chi (Tai) 2’09:07.946, 3. Kevin Yeap (Mas) 2’10:57.570, 4. Welson Sim (Mas) 2’11:27.776 7. Wong Jun Bin (Mas) 2’14:41.830… 12 Vernon Lee (Mas) 2’20:33.283.

Women’s

10km: 1 Heidi Gan (Mas) 2’17:00.773, 2 Xeniya Romanchuk (Kaz) 2’21:04.210, 3 Benjaporn Sriphanomthom (Tha) 2’22:50.736... 10 Angela Chieng (Mas) 2’34:28.286.

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