Tze Yean hopes to end fin swimming challenge for Malaysia with fin-esse

SWIMMER Khiew Hoe Yean already has a clutch of medals, including gold, and now his elder brother Tze Yean wants to do the same in the pool but in a different discipline in Hanoi.

Tze Yean will attempt to bring home a historic medal when the fin swimming competition starts at the My Dinh Aquatic Centre today.

The sport is making a return to the Games programme after it last took place in the 2011 edition in Indonesia.

It is only the fourth appearance for fin swimming at the biennial Games. Vietnam introduced the sport when Hanoi hosted the Games in 2003 and it made a return in Laos in 2007.

It is not the first Games appearance for the 22-year-old Tze Yean as he competed in water polo at the Manila Games in 2019.

“We did not get a medal at that time but it has always been my hope to contribute a medal in a multi-Games event, so when I heard fin swimming was going to be included, I did not hesitate to take up the challenge,” said Tze Yean, who has been involved in swimming since he was seven.

“Malaysia have never won a medal so far and I hope I can be the one to bring one home.

“It’s also an opportunity for me to see another country as I always loved travelling.”

Fin swimming is split into several categories, with some requiring the use of monofins – the ones resembling fish tails while others will don bifins or stereofins – those typically used by scuba divers.

There are also surface races and “immersion” races that take place underwater with the help of breathing apparatus, and 50m apnoea races that are completed by swimmers without taking a breath.

Tze Yean, who will compete in the 100m bifin and 4x100m mixed relay bifin, said the sport is not that different from swimming.

“We use fins and snorkels as learning aids when we start to learn swimming.

“I feel I’ve got a chance to fight for a medal in the 100m bifin as I went to Italy in April for the Fin Swimming University World Cup where I managed to reach the final and finished seventh,” said Tze Yean.

Team manager S. Ravivarma said Tze Yean is the main hope for the 100m bifin.

“His time of 46.05 would have ranked him second in the Asian Fin Swimming Championships in China in 2019 but for the Games, we are happy to be aiming for a medal as Singapore have also improved a lot other than the traditionally strong countries like Vietnam, Laos and Indonesia.”

The fin swimming team consist of three men and two women.

The others are Saw Jin Er and Liew Ee Chern while the women are Cheng Ka Man and Leong Wan Mei.

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