Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Yi Ting decides to skip both the Asian and C’wealth Games

PETALING JAYA: Laos SEA Games triple gold medallist Siow Yi Ting has made a surprise decision to skip the New Delhi Commonwealth Games and Guangzhou Asian Games, citing the desire to finish her studies as the main reason.

The top female national swimmer has qualified on merit for both Games in her pet breaststroke and individual medley disciplines.

National swimming coach Paul Birmingham said that Yi Ting, who is based in the United States, had made known her decision to be left out of competitive assignments for the rest of the year in order to catch up on her undergraduate studies and complete them by early next year.

The 24-year-old from Negri Sembilan is on a University of Arkansas scholarship and she last swam for the country in the SEA Games last December and won three gold medals in record times.

“Yi Ting wants to complete her final year on schedule and not fall behind. She is out for the whole year and she has relayed this decision to the association (Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia),” said Birmingham.
“What I know is that she will return here early next year and prepare for the SEA Games in Indonesia.”
The Australian coach, who has been in charge of the home-based national swimmers for the past two years, was supportive of Yi Ting’s decision to skip the New Delhi Games (October) and the Guangzhou Games (November) even though it meant weakening the relay squad.

“Yi Ting is at a point where she needs some time away from the system,” he said.
“She could just continue to train and go for the two Games when her heart is not really in it. I think it will benefit her in the long run if she gets her studies over.

“She has improved her breaststroke techniques a lot and I believe the break will do her good when she comes back fresher to take up a new challenge next year.”


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