Yap Siew Hui in a file photo. She is representing Selangor in this week's MSSM swimming championships.
PETALING JAYA: Young swimmer Yap Siew Hui is assured of a place at the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games in August after having beaten the qualifying times for the butterfly races.
But she is not contented and has bigger goals to chase down this year.
The 16-year-old Siew Hui is hoping to qualify on merit for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and Incheon Asian Games later this year.
As such, the MSSM (Malaysian Schools Sports Council) swimming championships starting on Monday at the Darul Ehsan Aquatic Centre is the ideal launching pad for her and her peers to have their moment of glory.
Swimming is the blue riband event in the national schools meet held during the week-long school holidays and Siew Hui will lead hosts Selangor, hoping for a successful defence of the overall swimming title.
Last year was a breakout year for Siew Hui as she beat the A qualifying time for 50m, 100m and 200m butterfly events at the designated qualifying meets.
Siew Hui also swam to a silver at the Asian Youth Games in Nanjing last year in the 50m butterfly and took the bronze in the 100m event.
Siew Hui took gold in the 50m and 100m butterfly events at the Islamic Solidarity Games in Indonesia and another two gold medals in the same disciplines at the SEA Age Group Swimming Championships in Brunei.
The SMJK Katholik Petaling Jaya student also mounted the podium at the Myanmar SEA Games after helping the 4x100m medley team to the bronze.
These achievements clinched her the Best Sportsgirl in the Milo-MSSM Sports Awards last week and she is psyched up to make a splash in the girls’ 16-18 age group this week.
“I have already beaten the qualifying times for the butterfly events for the Youth Olympics but I want to improve further.
“My goals this year are to qualify on merit for the Commonwealth and Asian Games.
“The qualifying period only started at the end of last year. It will be tough as the qualifying standards are high but I believe I have a chance in the 50m and 100m butterfly.”
At this week’s MSSM meet, the host team will have to fend off strong competition from Sarawak who will surely be going all out to regain the overall title.
Selangor captured the overall title with a comfortable total tally of 37-36-14 last year.
Sarawak came in second with 20-18-24 ahead of Sabah, who amassed 14-12-13.
Sarawak will be relying on the likes of national swimmer Welson Sim, Angela Chieng and Nee Gui Ping to boost their gold medal count.
Kuching-born Welson splashed his way to seven gold medals, and five came with new record times, to be crowned the best swimmer in the boys’ 16-18 age group last year.
Welson recently broke six meet records as the best swimmer in his age group at the Sarawak state swimming meet.
He is also currently the country’s second ranked long distance male swimmer behind SEA Games gold medallist Kevin Yeap.