Swimming: Tze Yean hopes to end finswimming challenge for Malaysia with fin-esse

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

Tze Yean will be looking for a historic medal when the finswimming competition kicks off at My Dinh Aquatic Center today.

The sport returns to the Games program after its last participation in the 2011 edition in Indonesia.

This is only the fourth appearance of finswimming at the biennial Games. Vietnam introduced the sport when Hanoi hosted the Games in 2003 and it returned to Laos in 2007.

This is not the first Games appearance for Tze Yean, 22, as he competed in water polo at the 2019 Manila Games.

“We didn’t get a medal at that time, but I always hoped to contribute to a medal in a multi-Games event, so when I heard that finswimming was going to be included, I didn’t. didn’t hesitate to take up the challenge,” said Tze Yean, who has been swimming since the age of 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 because I’ve always loved to travel.

Finswimming is divided into several categories, some requiring the use of monofins – those resembling fishtails while others will wear bifins or stereofins – those typically used by divers.

There are also surface races and “immersion” races which are conducted underwater using breathing apparatus, and 50m freediving races which are performed by swimmers without breathing.

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

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

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

Team leader S. Ravivarma said Tze Yean is the top prospect in the bifin 100m.

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

The finswimming team is made up 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.