Friday, 5 July 2013

The Star : Lai Kwan hits out at ASUM for excluding her from world meet

Updated: Friday July 5, 2013 MYT 8:27:29 AM
By Lim Teik Huat

PETALING JAYA: Chui Lai Kwan has taken the Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (ASUM) to task for not allowing her to compete in the World Championships in Barcelona from July 19-Aug 4.

The Sabah swimmer clocked 26.28 to beat the B qualifying mark of 26.29 in the women’s 50m freestyle at the Singapore National Championships last weekend. The qualifying deadline for the world meet was July 1.

Lai Kwan’s joy, however, turned to anger when she was informed by ASUM that she would not be sent to the World Championships. ASUM have entered six swimmers – Lim Ching Hwang, Kevin Yeap, Shaun Yap Kah Choon, Christina Loh, Siow Yi Ting and Khoo Cai Lin — for the championships.

And Lai Kwan, the former SEA Games gold medallist, has written to Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, Olympic Council of Malaysia secretary general Datuk Sieh Kok Chi and Sabah Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan to complain about being left out of the championships.

“ASUM said the last qualifying meet was the Malaysian Open (May 16-20). But they did not make a public announcement that the Malaysian Open was to be the last qualifying meet. Instead the announcement was made after the completion of the championships.

“I feel that this is totally unfair to all the Malaysian swimmers who have worked hard to qualify for the world meet. I have put in so much effort, time and money to qualify for the World Championships without any support and funding from the National Sports Council. Now all my efforts are in vain,” said the 23-year-old who made the New Delhi Commonwealth Games final in her pet event in 2010.

Lai Kwan felt that ASUM’s decision was personal following her decision to leave the national team in 2011.

“I left because I felt it was not suitable for me. I still have the will and desire to compete for my country. And I have continued to train very hard under Selangor elite team coach Marilyn Chua.

“Now, I feel very frustrated and demoralised. Every country is trying its best to send as many representatives as possible to the World Championships. I don’t know why ASUM think otherwise and have prevented me from competing.

“I feel that instead of developing Malaysian swimmers, ASUM are making it more difficult for us to achieve our full potential,” said Lai Kwan.

ALL in vain : Chui Lai Kwan beat the B qualifying mark at the Singapore National Championships last weekend but she has not been selected for the World Championships in Barcelona.

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