PETALING JAYA: The Olympic dream is over for synchronised swimming golden girl Katrina Ann Hadi.
The 22-year-old has quit the sport just a month after bagging the country’s first gold medal – with Zylane Lee in the duet event – at the Singapore SEA Games.
Katrina tendered her resignation to the Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (Asum) last week, citing personal reasons.
Her sudden move has left Malaysia with only one representative – Zylane – for the World Championships in Kazan, Russia, from July 24-Aug 9.
Katrina, when contacted, confirmed that she has left the national team.
It is understood that her move has nothing to do with the recent controversy involving her younger sister Farah Ann Hadi, who came under unnecessary fire for the attire she wore on her way to bagging the SEA Games gold in artistic gymnastics in Singapore.
Katrina, however, plans to continue her association with the sport, which she has been involved in for the last 10 years, in a different capacity.
“I spent five years in gymnastics and 10 years in synchronised swimming. I want to give back to the sport,” she said.
“Synchronised swimming is a technical sport and I will help out Asum whenever possible.”
Apart from delivering the first gold and two silvers for Malaysia at the Singapore SEA Games, the highlight of her synchronised swimming career is the five-gold sweep at the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia.
Katrina also competed at three Asian Games – 2006 in Doha, 2010 in Guangzhou, and 2014 in Incheon – and the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
Asum secretary Mae Chen described Katrina’s decision to stop as a big loss to the sport, especially with the national body hopeful of their athletes making the cut for the first time for the Olympics in Rio next year.
“Zylane will now be our only representative in synchronised swimming in Kazan,” said Mae.
Katrina’s absence also means Malaysia will have to work harder to secure the gold medals when they host the SEA Games in 2017 as synchronised swimming should have a full programme.
“We’ve already started planning for the 2017 SEA Games. We are preparing three pairs for the duet events,” said Mae.
Malaysia will also be represented in diving and swimming in Kazan.
THE MALAYSIA TEAM
Men: Ooi Tze Liang, Ahmad Amsyar Azman, Muhd Syafiq Puteh, Chew Yiwei.
Women: Leong Mun Yee, Pandelela Rinong, Cheong Jun Hoong, Wendy Ng Yan Yee, Nur Dhabitah Sabri, Loh Zhiayi.
Men: Wong Fu Kang, Tern Jian Han, Lim Ching Hwang, Welson Sim.
Women: Khoo Cai Lin, Phee Jinq En, Chui Lai Kwan, Caroline Chan.
OPEN WATER SWIMMING