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Friday June 14, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Friday June 14, 2013 MYT 10:14:51 AM
by y.p. sivamphotos by low boon tat
THE Selangor synchronised swimming squad are in the final lap of their training programme for the Malaysia Games in Kuala Lumpur.
Selangor have named a 10-member squad, including two internationals — Katrina Ann Abdul Hadi and Zylane Lee Yhing Huey — for the competition to be held at the National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil from June 29 to July 7.
Both Katrina and Zylane, as members of the national squad, are based in Bukit Jalil and join their teammates at the Darul Ehsan Aquatic Centre in Shah Alam regularly.
The others in the team are Nur Amira Amiruddin, Kimberly Yap Jie Yee, Michellyn Jane, Ng Lyn Sze, Lai Nicole, Sharifah Zarifah Syed Sharifuddin, Tan Wei Yi and Kwong Zhi Kei.
Selangor have also secured the service of Song Yi-xin from China since last August. Yi-xin comes with excellent credentials and had taken part in several national competitions in China.
Selangor team manager Tony Yap said under the watchful eyes of Yi-xin, the Selangor synchronised swimmers were showing excellent commitment.
“The training programme has been intensive with the coach spending about three to four hours daily with the trainees. They train six days a week. They have also been getting impressive results in local and international competitions,’’ said Tony.
In the National Age group championships in Paroi, Wei Yi won a bronze medal in the solo event (11-12 years) and Kimberly and Michellyn also won a bronze in the duet (15-17 years).
Selangor also sent a team to take part in the Macau Open age group synchronised swimming championships last month. Selangor won a silver medal in the team free event and a bronze in the combo.
Tony said they had reasons to be happy as the overall results were impressive.
“The swimmers had excellent points. The points, they scored, showed that they had improved under the guidance of Yi-xin,’’ he added.
Selangor have been winning gold medals in the Malaysia Games. At the last games in 2011, Selangor won three gold and a bronze medal. Katrina (solo tech) and Zylane (solo free) won the individual golds and combined to win the gold in the duet tech. The bronze came in the combo team.
There are seven golds at stake in this year’s Malaysia Games. But as per the rules, Katrina and Zylane, who had represented Malaysia in the last SEA Games in Indonesia, are eligible to take part in two events. Katrina will be starting in the solo tech while Zylane in the solo free. Katrina and Zylane will join hands for the duet tech.
Tony said they were not prepared to predict their target in the Malaysia Games.
“Of course we have both Katrina and Zylane in the team. They have the experience and skills to deliver. They will also be an inspiration to the younger swimmers. We are also looking at the Malaysia Games as a platform to expose our junior swimmers.
“The majority of them are first timers and eligible to represent Selangor in the 2015 and 2017 Malaysia Games. The experience gained this year will certainly help the young swimmers.
“The Selangor State Sports Council has also been supporting the Selangor synchronised swimming training programme. Without their assistance, it will be difficult for us to implement the training programme,’’ said Tony.
Yi-xin said the swimmers were hardworking and and prepared to train with commitment.
“But synchronised swimming is a demanding sport. There is always room for progress. The swimmers cannot afford to relax or take it easy. My expectations are quite high but I see a lot of potential in the young swimmers,’’ said Yi-xin.
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