Open Water Swimming Olympics Berth 2021:Chantal Liew’s Historic Victory to Make History On Saturday (June 19) in Setubal, Portugal, the 22-year-old open water swimmer became the first Singaporean in history to earn a ticket for the Olympics.
She ran the 10km run in 2 hours 12 minutes 20 seconds and finished 29th out of 40 swimmers in the FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifiers. More importantly, she became the best Asian finisher behind two Japanese swimmers Yumi Kida (2:03:03, 12th) and Minami Nikura (2:04:56, 19th). Japan already ranked first as host in the July 23–August 8 Games, with Singapore being replaced by the only continental one available to Asia.
In a phone interview with The Straits Times barely an hour after her race, Lew, who in 2017 became the first Singaporean woman to win an open water swimming medal at the SEA Games, explained how she felt when she set her name on the record. Wrote again in the book.
“Now? To be honest, I feel really bad,” she said. “I feel like I’m about to vomit and have a pounding headache. The shock of making the Olympics is over, and I’m feeling the after-effects of the race.”Despite this, he had already started assessing his performance.
Liu admitted that she struggled in Portugal after a lack of competition – her last race was in February 2020 – but added that she “didn’t put my race together” as well as found her further back in the field. have liked.
Open Water Swimming Olympics Berth 2021
She finished only in the final 2.1 km of the race, beating her main rival, Nip Tz Yin of Hong Kong, for the Asian quota spot. Nip eventually finished 31st in 2:14:15.
Lew’s coach for nearly four years, Marcus Cheeh, said he was “imaginatively proud” of his athlete, noting the difficulty he has had working towards his Olympic dream amid the pandemic.
“When she went in front of the Hong Kong girl and started moving fast … I don’t even know how I felt in words,” said Cheh, who was watching the race from a pontoon along the circuit, the other coaches.”My mind went blank and all I knew was that I had to please him and move on.”
He said he hopes that upon his return to Singapore he will be allowed to work with Lew in a training bubble setting so that he can “move on and prepare for Tokyo”, with the Olympics just 33 days away.
Liu herself has stated that her priority now is to “refocus” on Tokyo, adding that she would celebrate her achievement only after returning from the Japanese capital.