Yeo, Sirisanont and Lim Lead Southeast Asian Games With Three Gold Medals Apiece

HANOI, Vietnam, December 9. HALFWAY through the swimming competition at the Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam, two nations are dominating the medals podium.

Thailand has nineteen medals, nine of them gold, while tiny Singapore has amassed 16 medals, including five gold. Swimmers from five other nations have earned medals here: Malaysia (7 medals, 5 gold), the Philippines (8 medals), Indonesia (4 medals), Myanmar (2 medals) and host Vietnam (2 medals).

Three US-trained swimmers lead the way with three golds apiece. Singapore’s Yeo Wei Ling – better known to Westerners as Joscelin Yeo, former University of Texas standout, took the women’s 100m free (56.78), 100 fly (1:01.32, edging Myanmar’s Moe Thu Aung, 1:01.74) and 200 IM (2:17.98, edging Malaysia’s and the Bolles School’s Siow Yi Ting, 2:18.45). Yeo also anchored Singapore’s winning 400m free relay (3:54.47) and her country’s second-place 800 free relay.

Thailand’s Ratapong Sirisanont – better known to followers of the University of California Bears as “Nuk” Sirisanont – took the 100m breast (1:03.13, pulling away from countryman Vorrawati Aumpium, 1:03.94, in the final 25 meters), the 200 IM (Games record 2:03.54) and 400 IM (Games record 4:23.20, barely nicking the Philippines’ Miguel Molina, 4:23.26, in the Games’ most exciting race).

A current Cal student – Lim Kengliat – was the third triple gold medalist. One of the world’s best backstroke sprinters, “Alex” Lim took the 100 fly in a Games record 55.04, defeating Indonesia’s Andiwibowo (55.86), the 100 back (57.51) and the 200 back (2:04.11).

Thailand’s Pilin Tachakittiranan won two women’s events: the 400m free (4:21.67) and the 800 free (9:01.12) and was third in the 100 (58.74). Malaysia’s Siow Yi Ting took the 100 breast in 1:13.31, just defeating Singapore’s Teo Wei Min (1:13.67).

Malaysia’s Allen Ong Hon Ming took the men’s 100 free in 51.57.

Other winners:
400m free Charnudith Saengsri (THA) – 3:59.91
400m free relay Singapore – 3:28.12
800m free relay Malaysia – 7:43.11

100m back Chonlathorn Vornthamong (THA) – 1:05.47
800m free relay Thailand – 8:34.30

— Phillip Whitten