Wednesday October 31, 2012
Lai Kwan eyes comeback after three-gold show
By LIM TEIK HUAT
KUALA LUMPUR: Chui Lai Kwan (pic), once the region’s fastest freestyle swimmer, wants to make a comeback for Malaysia in the Myanmar SEA Games next year – provided she can juggle her time between studies and training.
Lai Kwan, the 50m freestyle gold medallist at the 2007 SEA Games in Korat, Thailand, splashed her way to three gold medals for Universiti Putra Malaysia on the opening day of the National Higher Education and Institution Games (SUKIPT) at the National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
The 21-year-old left the national team last year.
But now that she’s back in the thick of the action, it has whetted her appetite to don national colours again.
“I would love to go for my fifth SEA Games next year ... but I feel that my chances of coming back is 50-50 for now.
“I have two more years to go and next year is an important stage of my studies in the field of Food, Science and Technology at UPM.
“I have to undergo practical training for six months from next February. But, if the time permits and I can handle both things, I will go for it,” said Lai Kwan, who reached the final of the 100m freestyle at the New Delhi Commonwealth Games and Guangzhou Asian Games in 2010.
As expected, Lai Kwan won comfortably in the women’s 200m backstroke, 400m individual medley and 800m freestyle.
She still has a chance to claim nine more golds for her contingent in the remaining three days.
The Sabah-born Lai Kwan, who still holds the national records for the 50m and 100m freestyle and 100m backstroke, made her SEA Games debut in Vietnam in 2003 with a bronze and has never failed to deliver a medal each time.
Lai Kwan, however, is not the only former national swimmer in action as 2008 Beijing Olympian Leung Chii Lin is also swimming for University Malaya (UM).
Chii Lin won two gold medals in the 100m breaststroke and 100m freestyle yesterday.