Jessie Lacuna and Roxanne Yu hurdled their respective heats, early on Monday, to qualify for the finals of swimming competition of the the 29th Southeast Asian Games that kicked off at the National Aquatics Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
A two-time Olympian, Lacuna was sluggish from the start and swam the men’s 400-meter freestyle heats in four minutes and .0064 seconds, good for sixth place, but a far cry from his silver medal-winning time of 3:55.34 in the Singapore meet two years ago.
Yu fared better, clocking 1:05.40 in placing a close fourth in the women’s 100-meter backstroke, although it was off of her personal best of 1:04.80 when she won the bronze in the same event in the Singapore SEA Games.
The 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games veteran, however, was within striking distance of Singapore’s En Qi Hoong (1:05.20) and Indonesia’s Yenny Venesia Yosaputra (1:05.20), who placed second and third, respectively in the heat.
Vietnamese swimming star Nguyen Thi Anh, who bagged eight golds in the Singapore SEAG, easily ruled the heat in 1:03.84.
Failing the cut in the 100-meter backstroke was Filipino-American newcomer Nicole Oliva, who placed 10th with a time of 1:07.06, in the heat where the top eight swimmers qualify for the finals.
Also bowing out was Rosalee Santa Ana, who placed ninth in the women’s 200-meter butterfly heat (2:24.32).
The finals are scheduled to start at 7 pm on also on Monday.