The return of Hii Siew Siew


RARING TO GO: Siew Siew shows her collections from the recent outing in South East Asia (SEA) Open Swimming championship in Singapore.

Sibu swimming star makes splashing comeback after injury-hit season

SIBU: National swimmer Hii Siew Siew finally has reasons to celebrate when she returned with a flourish from the recent South East Asia (SEA) Open Swimming Championship held in Singapore.

Never mind she only managed to get a silver medal in her pet 200m butterfly but her abilities to clock a new time of 2’16.45” had greatly spurred her on to eye for greater glory.

After recovering from an injury-plagued season, the 19-year-old sensational swimming star from Sibu Amateur Swimming Association (Sasa) is obviously back with a vengeance.

Thus far, her best time in the 200m butterfly was 2’18” registered during the 2009 MSSM Schools swimming championship held in Kuala Lumpur.

“I am so happy that I could finally achieve a new breakthrough to clock a new time in my pet event.

“Hopefully, that will be the perfect motivation for me to look beyond the new horizon,” she said.

In fact, Siew Siew was only 20 second slower than the gold medallists from Indonesia who clocked a time of 1’16.25”.

In addition, Siew Siew also took a bronze in the 4X100m freestyle relay and a fourth placing in the 100m butterfly.

The competition was tough and with all the elite swimmers from seven to eight SEA countries taking part, Siew Siew’s results could be considered as encouraging and commendable.

The championship was also the final leg of the London Olympic Qualifying round for SEA swimmers.

Besides Siew Siew, Sarawak also sent Erika Kong from Kuching.

Unfortunately, both failed to qualify for the London Olympics.

Siew Siew’s father cum mentor, Hieng Chiong, said Siew Siew had been plagued by injuries after her outstanding performance in the 2009 MSSM championship.

He said Siew Siew went under the knife for a neck surgery immediately after the MSSM championship and before the wound completely healed, she encountered another serious mishap while playing basketball.

During an awkward fall, she hurt her ankle and the pain refused to go away and affected her training schedule.

In the course of her injuries, Siew Siew did manage to take part in the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Isle of Man in United Kingdom in 2011 and also in the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia, though without a respectable result.

Siew Siew only started serious training last March and showed signs of improvement which cumulated with her excellent performance in the SEA Open Swimming championship in Singapore.

“For 11 months, Siew Siew had been hard pressed by her injuries as she struggled to get over her recurrence injuries and predicament. But it was her undying love and passion for the sport which eventually help to pull her through her difficult days” Hieng Chiong revealed.

Now, all those dark days were behind her and Siew Siew hoped to catch up with her lost times and hit the realms of stardom again.

She expressed the hope that she would be able to perform to expectations now that her injuries were fully recovered.

“Honestly, it has been a truly disappointing 11 months for me, especially with the injuries that had affected my training schedule.”

Her immediate task ahead is to help Sarawak secure two swimming gold medals in her 200m and 100m butterfly at the coming Pahang Sukma.

Siew Siew said she would be gunning for nothing except gold in her two events.

For the record, Siew Siew is the record holder for the 200m butterfly with 2’20.68” while the 100m record belongs to Marilyn Teng with 61’48”.

Hieng Chiong, however, was not sure as to whether Siew Siew could bring back both gold medals in her quest to rule the 100m and 200m butterfly events.

He said other states were coming up strongly and had pumped in lots of energy to produce swimmers of international calibre.

“It’s difficult to predict. There are always talented swimmers whom other states may produce at the last moment. For the time being, we better keep our fingers crossed.”