Youngster Yap Siew Hui has shown that she’s ready to take on the challenge of swimming the butterfly event, after the retirement of Marellyn Liew, with a silver medal effort in the Asian Youth Games (AYG) in Nanjing, China, on Wednesday.
The 15-year-old was actually just a finger-tip short of nicking the gold medal for Malaysia in the girls’ 50m butterfly final.
Siew Hui, who only qualified for the final as the fourth fastest qualifier, clocked 27.96 to finish agonisingly close – 0.07sec – behind Ko Miso of South Korea (27.89).
The bronze went to another South Korean, Park Jin-young (28.04).
Bagging a sparkling silver is still an impressive achievement for Siew Hui.
She had to forgo the chance of making a World Championships debut in Barcelona last month and considering the time she posted was not far behind from her personal best of 27.60.
Marellyn last swam for the country in the Indonesia SEA Games in 2011, taking silver in the 100m butterfly – and there’s been no one of her calibre in the national squad – until now.
Siew Hui was roped into the national squad under coach Paul Birmingham early this year.
She was also the best overall female swimmer in the MSSM (national schools) meet in March.
Lim Ching Hwang, meanwhile, is on course for a treble at the Asian Youth Games.
He made it to the final of boys’ 50m freestyle as the second fastest qualifier.
Fresh from winning the 200m freestyle race on Monday, the Singapore Sports School student continued his fine form in the semi-final by posting 23.62 to finish behind Singapore’s Darren Lim (23.42).
“The 50m discipline is not my strongest event.
“I’ll try for a medal. It’s an open affair in the final,” said the 17-year-old.
Besides competing in 50m freestyle final today, Ching Hwang is also fighting for a place in the 100m freestyle final.
He has been seeded first for the event based on his personal best of 50.87.