By Ajitpal Singh
THREE-TIME Olympian Siow Yi Ting has quit the national team, citing injury.
However, the Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (ASUM) wants Yi Ting to reconsider and only retire after the Myanmar Sea Games in December.
The swimmer's sudden decision is due to the nagging pain she often suffers in training due to a growth on her neck.
She had informed ASUM of her intention to quit two weeks ago but has not given anything official in writing. The BA in Arts and Sculpture graduate turns 28 on Dec 11.
Yi Ting, who represented Malaysia in the 2000 (Sydney), 2004 (Athens) and 2012 (Beijing) Olympic Games, has won 10 gold medals in six Sea Games appearances since making her debut in the 2001 Kuala Lumpur edition and is also the biennial games' record holder in the 100m and 2000 breaststroke and the 200m individual medley.
Asum secretary Edwin Chong said Yi Ting has informed them about her intention to quit the sport.
"Yi Ting feels she has lost the confidence and motivation to swim. She is not young anymore and it is not easy at her age to cope with the demands of the sport," said Edwin yesterday.
"She also has a growth on her neck and it is affecting her when she does the breaststroke. I believe she is considering surgery and I've told her to get treatment from the National Sports Institute. She is not training anymore."
Edwin said he has told Yi Ting to consider one last outing in the Sea Games in Myanmar.
"We are hopeful but I think she has made up her mind. Anyway, she has already done so much for the sport. We appreciate her contributions," Edwin added.
Yi Ting's best performance in an international outing was winning three titles in record times at the Laos Sea Games four years ago.
In her absence, national coach Paul Birmingham will depend on Christina Loh and youngster Phee Jing En for medals in the Sea Games. Christina was the 50m breaststroke gold medallist in the 2011 Sea Games in Indonesia.