PETALING JAYA: Phee Jinq En is risking everything to compete at next year’s Olympics.
The swimmer has left her comfort zone and her family to return to the United States to qualify for her second Olympic appearance in Tokyo.
The 2019 SEA Games double gold medallist left for the US on Monday where she is expected to remain there for the next six months to train under John Klinge.
The American is the women’s team swimming coach at Jinq En’s alma mater Purdue University.
Her presence there could be a health risk as the US is the worst-hit Covid-19 nation in the world with no signs of abating.
National swim coach Chris Martin fully backs her decision.
“It’s good to chase your dream. She pretty worked out everything and there’s no question of her commitment to achieve her goal.
“She only came home because her student visa ended and even then she was following the same training programme set by Klinge, ” said Martin.
Jinq En needs to be in her best form when the international swimming calendar resumes next year.
The Olympic qualifying timeline for swimmers has been extended to end of June next year because of Covid-19 but it is still a very intense competition to see who makes the cut.
Jinq En’s best chance lies in the 100m breaststroke event.
The A cut for the 100m breaststroke is 1:07.07 which guarantees a spot in the Olympics while the B time is 1:09.08.
Those under the B time will qualify if they make it to the Olympics rankings list.
At the Philippines SEA Games last year, Jinq En saved Malaysia the blushes with her double gold in the women’s 50m and 100m breaststroke.
She splashed to a new Games record of 1:08.50 in the 100m breaststroke, which also saw her erasing her previous national record of 1:08.65 set in 2016.
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