BY LIM TEIK HUAT
PETALING JAYA: Woman breaststroke specialist Phee Jinq En plans to take things up a notch after the Rio Olympics.
She will head to the United States immediately after the Olympics to pursue higher studies at the Purdue University in Indiana.
The 18-year-old will swim in the 100m breaststroke event in her Olympic debut next month. She hopes that by setting up base in the US after the Games she would be able to go even faster.
The US college swimming scene is very competitive and the country will benefit if Jinq En continues to don national colours.
The next big multi-Games assignment after the Olympics will be the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in August next year and Jinq En intends to be there.
If her personal best times are of any indication, Jinq En will be her university's top woman breaststroke swimmer. She holds national records for both the 50m (31.66) and 100m (1:08.65) breaststroke events.
“I want to defend my 100m breaststroke title and aim for the 50m gold as well now that it’s included in the SEA Games programme,” said Jinq En, who left for Florida in the United States on Tuesday with fellow Rio Olympic-bound swimmer Welson Sim.
“I definitely have to continue swimming competitively (at the Purdue University) as I’m on a full athletics scholarship.
“It’s going to be a whole new experience for me. The standard in the US is very high.
“The current world No. 1 woman breaststroke specialist Lilly King is from Indiana University. So, I will be racing against her often in the domestic meets.”
Jinq En and Welson will train in Florida for the next 10 days to adapt to the time zone before flying straight to Rio de Janeiro.
Apart from the SEA Games next year, Jinq En also has the Jakarta Asian Games and Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018 in her sights.
“I have yet to swim in both these Games ... so, that’s something I hope to achieve in two years’ time,” she said.