Surprise, surprise!

SWIMMER Phee Jinq En finished third in the 200m breaststroke final. And she was all smiles.After all, the event was just a warm-up for her and she had done exceptionally well in it before the real task of delivering gold begins tonight.

The 22-year-old showed she is in good form heading into her sprint events with the bronze at the New Clark City Aquatic Centre last night.

She was fifth going into the final lap and a last-gasp push saw her touching home in 2:32.38.

The 19-year-old Christie Chue of Singapore got gold in 2:28.71 ahead of Thai Pawapotako Phiangkhwan, who finished in 2:31.47.

Jinq En was smiling despite the exhaustion of chasing the top two. It was her weakest event and already she was on the podium.

It was also her first medal in the event in Games campaigns.

Jinq En won gold in the 100m breaststroke and silver in the 50m distance in Singapore (2015) and Kuala Lumpur (2017).

“I finished last in the 200m final in KL two years ago, so I’m just happy that I got this medal.

“In fact, I was just satisfied to make it into the final with my time of 2:35.82 (the third fastest in the heats).

“I hardly trained for this distance as I’m a sprinter, so I just don’t care about my position, ” said the US-based swimmer, who has a good chance of winning the 50m breaststroke race tonight.

“I can’t wait for the 50m race tomorrow, ” added Jinq En, whose medal yesterday was the only one for Malaysia in the pool.

Vietnamese teenager Nguyen Huy Hoang continued with his amazing campaign when he set a new Games record en route to winning his second gold.

The 19-year-old became the first male swimmer in the region to dip below the 15-minute barrier in winning the 1,500m freestyle final in 14:58.14.

He not only erased his own Games record of 15:20.10 set at the Kuala Lumpur Games but also qualified for the Tokyo Olympics next year.

The A qualifying mark for the event is 15:00.99.

Olympic champion Joseph Schooling suffered a stunning defeat to teammate Teong Tzen Wei in the 50m butterfly final.

Schooling had to settle for silver in 23.61 behind Tzen Wei, who stopped the clock at 23.55.

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