Chieng sisters shine as SMK Batu Lintang cruise to victory

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UNDISPUTED CHAMPION: SMK Batu Lintang teacher Chan Chiew Hua poses with the challenge trophy after receiving from Cahya Mata Sarawak group managing director Dato Richard Curtis (third right) while Yii (second right) and others look on. — Photo courtesy of Kota Samarahan Amateur Swimming Association

KUCHING: Sukma-bound swimmers Annie Chieng and Angela Chieng lived up to their top billing at the 2nd Samarahan-Kuching Inter-School Swimming Championship, making a clean sweep of all the events they competed at the Samarahan Sports Complex swimming pool over the weekend.

The Chieng sisters splashed to a total of 18 gold medals, with each swimmer contributing nine golds each to help SMK Batu Lintang retain their championship title in the secondary school section with 31 golds, seven silvers and 14 bronzes.

They won the golds in the 200m individual medley, 50m breaststroke, 100m breaststroke, 50m butterfly, 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 50m backstroke, 100m breaststroke and 50m freestyle.

Annie was competing in the Girls Group D (age 15-18) while her younger sister competed in the Girls Group C (age 13-14) where they also emerged as the best swimmer of their respective groups.

The other swimmer who also played a big role in SMK Batu Lintang’s continued domination was Tan Choon Hoe who won five golds, one silver and one bronze in Boys Group C (age 13-14).

He was also the best swimmer in this category.

Brian Chua from Lodge Secondary School was the best performer in the Boys Group D, making a personal haul of seven golds, one silver and one bronze.

Meanwhile, SJK Chung Hua No 5 also made a successful defence of their title and lifted the Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah challenge trophy for the second time with a total of 31 golds, two silvers and one bronze.

The key performers were two young state swimmers, the talented Tan Tyng who garnered seven golds and a bronze to win the Group B Best Girl award and rising star Adrian Chua who won Best Boy for Group A with his six golds and two silvers.

Mandy Teo of SJK Chung Hua No 2 also remained unbeaten during the meet where she grabbed nine gold medals for an emphatic victory as Best Girl for Group A.

Her father is swimming coach Teo Ah Hua and with four younger sisters following in her illustrious footsteps, there looks to be more upcoming swim stars for Sarawak.

The other best boy swimmer was pint-sized dynamo Hii Puong Hou from SJK Chung Hua Batu 4 ½ who bagged seven golds and two silvers to win Group B.

Fifteen state swimmers were on show at the meet while at the other end of the spectrum there were heart-warming scenes as young first-timers from local schools valiantly strove to complete their laps to huge cheers of encouragement from the crowd.

Kota Samarahan Amateur Swimming Association (Kotas) special advisor Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, who is also Asajaya assemblyman, closed the event.

He also commended Kotas for the rapid progress the relatively new association had made in such a short time under the new committee with dynamic corporatisation and growth plans, new corporate support and even their own website: www.kotasswimming.com (where news including meet results can be downloaded).

He noted that positive community events like this could inspire more children to take up the healthy sport of swimming and for current swimmers to train harder to achieve their full potential.

Karim also reminded the swimmers that Kotas would be organising an even larger meet, the prestigious state-wide President’s Cup (Datuk Patinggi Wong Soon Kai) Championships in November and he looked forward to it being as successful as this inter-school meet.

Also present at the prize-giving ceremony were representatives from various sponsors and Kotas president Yii Chee Sing.

The meet organised by Kotas saw the participation of 146 students from 35 secondary and primary schools and kindergartens.