KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 26 — The Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) has assured national swimmer Phee Jinq En of its full support for her training programme in the United States as she seeks to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics under the ‘A’ Category.
Asum secretary Mae Chen said they would help the 22-year-old financially as well as in preparing her training programme and getting her US sports visa.
Mae Chen said that Jinq En, the 50m and 100m women’s breaststroke champion at the 2019 SEA Games, was initially scheduled to leave for the US in September but postponed it to either December or January (next year) due to the uncertainties surrounding the global Covid-19 pandemic.
“Hopefully, by the time she gets her sports visa, things will be better in America. She intends to follow her coach over there (John Klinge) to earn her Tokyo 2020 ticket as she is very close to the category A qualifying mark.
“As far as finance is concerned, it’s not an issue for the Road to Tokyo (RTT) and elite athletes as they are well supported by the Youth and Sports Ministry and National Sports Council (NSC),” Mae Chen told reporters after attending the working committee meeting with the NSC and National Sports Institute (NSI) officials here today.
Jinq En, a Purdue University graduate, has already surpassed the 1:09.08s B mark after breaking the national 100m breaststroke record by clocking 1:08.50s at the 2019 SEA Games. She is now trying to secure her place at the Olympiad by meeting the 1:07.07s A mark.
Meanwhile, Mae Chen said Asum planned to organise a closed-door local swimming meet targeting three age groups — 13-14, 15-16 and Open category — in October.
Asum also plans to organise a domestic diving competition in early November as a warm-up and preparation for the national divers to get the tournament feeling before heading for the World Cup, which will be held in Tokyo from Feb 23-28 next year.
The world meet, which was initially scheduled for April 21-26 this year, will be the last chance for divers to earn their Olympic tickets.
“For now, we have four girls (Pandelela Rinong, Nur Dhabitah Sabri, Ng Yan Yee and Leong Mun Yee) who have qualified. We are hoping that Cheong Jun Hoong can join them and that some of the boys will qualify too,” she said. — Bernama