Friday, 13 June 2014

The Star : Swimmer Lai Kwan back in team for Commonwealth Games


KUALA LUMPUR: Chui Lai Kwan, once the fastest freestyle swimmer in South-East Asia, is making a comeback after a three-year absence.

Chui Lai Kwan still holds the national records for the 50m and 100m freestyle as well as the 100m backstroke.

The 24-year-old Sabahan, who quit the national team in late 2011, has been named by the Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) as one of the six women swimmers for next month’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

“Lai Kwan has proven that she’s still one of the best women’s swimmers in the nation, having excelled in recent meets like the Malaysian Open. She certainly deserves a place in the team to Glasgow,” said Asum honorary secretary Edwin Chong.

“As she is not under the National Sports Council (NSC) programme, she’ll continue to train on her own in preparation for the Games.”

Despite no longer with the national team, Lai Kwan has been competing actively on her own. She still holds the national records for the 50m and 100m freestyle as well as the 100m backstroke.

Lai Kwan was also the only Malaysian swimmer to make the final at the New Delhi Common­wealth Games and Guangzhou Asian Games in 2010.

Edwin said the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) had also given their blessings for Asum to send a 12-member squad to Glasgow although the men’s 4x200m team were the only swimmers to qualify on merit.

Apart from Lai Kwan, the other swimmers picked are Khoo Cai Lin, Cristina Loh, Erika Kong, Yap Siew Hui, Nadia Adrianna Redza Abdullah.

For the men’s team, the six members are Kevin Yeap, Lim Ching Hwang, Vernon Lee, Welson Sim, Shaun Yap and Tern Jian Han.

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s Commonwealth Games chef-de-mission Datuk Ong Poh Eng visited the swimming and diving teams training at the National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

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